Social media is again under criticism row. This time the voice is from Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who remarked that the Centre is contemplating measures to stop misuse of social media which poses serious threat to internal security.
While laying the foundation stones of BSF and SSB battalion headquarters at Sitarganj in Uttarakhand, the minister added that, “There are benefits of the social media. But at times if misused it becomes a threat to social security. Our experience in the North East (Assam) shows that motivated use of the social media can disturb social amity.”
The Home Minister shared that the government is concerned with social media’s misuse for creating communal tension or commotion among students. However, the minister supported judicious use of social media and the government has no problem till the time it is being used for a good cause. He further added that, “We have no problem with judicious use of social media. But we will have to mull steps to check its misuse for creating social confrontation or communal tension.”
This is not the first case and it won’t be the last when governments and their representatives will continue to consider social media as a threat. The new wave of curbing social media has resurfaced after the recently concluded NIC gathering at the backdrop of the Muzaffarnagar communal riots. Starting from the PM Manmohan Singh and a number of Chief Ministers, all demanded some mechanism to check social media’s uncontrolled use.
With the PM, similar concerns for social media had been shared by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, among others. In his argument the Haryana CM considers social networking sites such as Facebook, MMS, Twitter, etc become a media in spreading propaganda through video clippings and messages of incidents with communal overtones.
Additionally, the Andhra CM asked the Centre to ensure that all the social networking websites locate their servers in India for the cyber traffic generated within the country enabling the law enforcement agencies swiftly gather evidence.
It seems the government is serious about blocking social networking sites during any such future tensions.
Image courtesy: IBN