Social Media

IT Minister calls for accountability of social media content

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 26, 2021

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications and IT   -  THE HINDU

Urges a rethink of the Internet’s governance structure, with a key role for India

The Government on Thursday said the responsibility for content uploaded on social media platforms and websites should be clearly defined, and that the changes in technology and Internet over the last few decades called for a rethink of the governance structure of the Internet.

“The way content is created, the way content is consumed, the way the Internet is accessed. The languages in which the Internet is accessed, the machines, the modes in which the Internet is accessed, everything has changed. So, with these fundamental changes, we certainly need a fundamental rethink of the entire governance structure of the Internet,” Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications and IT, said at the inaugural session of the first India Internet Governance Forum (IIGF 2021).

Vaishnaw asked the participants at the forum to deliberate over the key issues, including the responsibility for content, in an era where content is being created and consumed through mobile devices. He said India, being one of the largest users of the Internet, has to be a key stakeholder in the way Internet governance is defined the world over.

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“If we read something we start believing that something is written in that WhatsApp message or in that Facebook page or in that particular website, so it must be true. Who is going to take responsibility for that content?” he questioned.

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“So, who takes responsibility for that content? Whether that content is on a social media platform or on a website, it should be clearly defined, so that there is a responsibility for the written word on somebody, so that it becomes part of the society as an acceptable form,” he said.

The Minister also called for a discussion on the ‘social impact of disruptions in business models’ with the advent of e-commerce.

“The way e-commerce has disrupted the entire business world, the way so many other industries are getting disrupted, that has a social impact, a social cost... It has many benefits, but it also has certain things which need to be mitigated. So, that is again something we, as a society, will have to think about, because that leaves out so many people who are less able to cope with the changes,” he added.

Published on November 25, 2021

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