New Delhi: In the midsts of the menace of fake news and cyber crimes, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday expressed his concern over the misuse of the social media platforms.
While addressing the Rajya Sabha, Prasad raised the issue of ‘fake news’ and said: “digital media has its disadvantages.”
The IT minister said that India has maximum users of Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube, while these platforms are very useful.
“The social media has spread its own wings in India. The social media in its own way has contributed to connectivity, education, community, self-help updates and business promotion,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Add to the benefits, Prasad also addressed the shortcomings of social media.
“While coming to the challenges of digital empowerment, there has been the serious dilemma of striking the balance between the freedom of speech and expression, awareness empowerment and awareness to be responsible so that mobile platforms do not become vehicles to commit crimes, inside haterade, provoke terrorism, extremism, promote money laundering etc.”
In a bid to curb these challenges, the government is taking steps forward.
“The government is cognizant that social media platforms are being used as vehicles of weaponization against India’s strategic interests, economic stability and Govt is committed to taking suitable action to deter this,” Prasad added.
Meanwhile, the government also issued a notice to WhatsApp to take steps to stop spreading fake news.
“Government issued a notice tosince in most such horrible incidents the preceding factor was rumours on Whatsapp. In response, WhatsApp took steps to increase friction in the propagation of content by reducing forwards to 5 and indicating whether the message is forwarded,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“All social media platforms to have grievance officers to address the concerns of social media users,” Prasad added.
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