ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bane or Boon?

The internet and social media platforms pose an impossible challenge for government and civil society.


The recent incident of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj being trolled on Twitter by supporters of her own party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), illustrates well the current dilemma about how the government, or civil society, should respond to the negative aspects of social media. While the mealy-mouthed response by Swaraj’s party to the trolling exposes the internecine warfare within the BJP, more importantly, this incident highlights the problem that anybody in authority has with information and opinion, especially in a partly liberal, fully connected world.

In order to spread or be disseminated, both information and opinion need mediums and platforms. The internet is the medium; Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp are the platforms. Yet, the challenge before us is how you permit what is considered legitimate content and information, and at the same time disallow the plethora of fake information as well as threats and abuse conveyed through these platforms. Do you ban the medium, or the platform, or the content?

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Updated On : 24th Jul, 2018
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