Monitor Corruption, not twitter and Facebook

Monitor Corruption, not twitter and Facebook

Its about a political set up soaked in corruption and doing everything except addressing the real issue–please soak no more…

Ministry of communication has listed 65 urls which social networking giants – twitter, facebook and youtube should ban immediately. Also, all the internet service providers (ISP) have been ordered to block these pages with immediate effect. No doubt, social media platforms were misused to spread defamatory content that flamed the exodus of North Eastern community and escalated the rift but the subsequent cyberspace censorship is simply uncalled for. Government seems to misuse this opportunity to target specific people like Kanchan Gupta and others.

Social Media by its very nature stands for freedom of expression and should be free from external censorship. They have their own terms of services(ToS) as per which they monitor and regulate the contents. Users can report spam or request to block a user if they find him violating any of the ToS. With a proven system already in place, government’s undue haste to block some urls points to some ulterior motives.

Even if one accepts the argument that cyberspace censorship was inevitable following the hate-campaign and exodus of North Eastern community, the specific requests to block PMO’s parody handles on twitter simply falls out of place. These accounts were neither involved in any hate campaign, nor did they break any ToS. Twitter itself is strict against impersonation. If someone pretends to be the Prime Minister and misguides people, the social media giant blocks the account automatically (As Chetan Bhatgat put it-“Its impossible to impersonate our PM, you can’t tweet :D”). But it is legitimate to create parody/spoof accounts and rightly so. As a matter of fact US president Barack Obama has over 200 parody handles on twitter, but we have never heard US government ban or block anyone of these. Parody and spoofs have their own vital existence and Indian governments recent crack down only points to increasing intolerance within the political arena.

Are we following the footsteps of China and Iran? How many twitter handles can government block? How many facebook and twitter accounts can government monitor? Well monitoring all the accounts is next to impossible for our government. They might as well consider establishing a separate Ministry of twitter and Ministry of facebook to govern these social platforms. So next time you sign up with facebook, you might have to take prior permission from the government. With new ministries will come new scams and corruption.Won’t it be far better if government were as concerned for corruption as it is for cyberspace censorship!!!

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Its NOW or NEVER!!

Amit

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