Critically discuss the problems arising out of unregulated growth of social media on internet while suggesting mechanisms to address these issues.

Published: February 19, 2018

Lack of digital literacy together with unregulated growth of social media is posing serious threats to the stability of the society. Various threats include

  • Spreading of fake news and false propaganda to satisfy the vested interests distorts the fine balance of the society and the result may be communal violence, mob violence, rebellions etc.
  • Harassment: Various incidents of harassments through social media platforms like face book, twitter, and whatsapp are reported.
  • Misrepresented identities: The social media provides anonymity and ease of misrepresenting identity. This has been exploited by fraudsters to fool, manipulate and harass the victims.
  • Tool of propaganda: The terrorist organizations like ISIS, IM are using social media as tool spread the fundamentalism, radicalism and to attract youth for their organisation.
  • Addiction: Addiction to social media among youth is seriously affecting their mental health.

Therefore there is a need for mechanisms to address these issues through

  • Digital education in schools and colleges must be incorporated so that there would be an enhanced digital literacy which would aid in self regulation in social media.
  • Operationalisation and effective implementation of Indian cyber crime coordination center (I4C) with effective linkages with law enforcement agencies can aid in addressing the social media propaganda.
  • Encouraging the internal vigilance mechanisms of the social media platforms so as to eliminate the spread of instigating, provoking contents.
  • Empowering the law enforcement agencies to effectively deal with social media propaganda through training and empowering them with necessary laws.

Social media has an immense potential. The misuse of the social media can cause severe crisis. Therefore a self regulatory approach is in the best interests of democracy.

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