Social Media: Empowering and Leveller Requires Regulatory Measures

A few days back Congress leader Sonia Gandhi read out a statement in the Lok Sabha about the negative role being played by social media like Facebook, Twitter and Utube etc. In fact, social media has been spreading all sorts of concocted and baseless stories more against the ruling dispensation than the opposition parties. Social media in India has been known to be Hindu phobic but that does not mean that it should be subjected to a blanket ban. Every type of mass media, be it electronic, print, digital or social is susceptible to misuse and that has been happening for a long time. Therefore, some regulatory measures would be welcome to make it more responsible and accountable. However, if we compare the advantages of social media it outweighs by far more than the disadvantages. The biggest advantage of social media is that it is the best leveller, and it has empowered the common and deprived sections of society. Before the advent of social media only those having access could enjoy or relish the fruits of the freedom of expression but now even a poor person, without having any resources, can create sensations, thanks to social media.
The credit for it goes only and only to the Technology, not to any person or government. In fact, the whole world has changed after the invention of GOOGLE. Thus, the Media is divided between – Before Google (BG) and After Google (AG). Think of any subject of the world and plenty of information about that is available on Google, that too, in a jiffy. During the recent elections of UP and other states, we have seen that every Tom, Dick, and Harry became a journalist and was not preparing the news as it was but as per the dictates of those, who paid them. Many of these flies by night journalists, without any training or ethics, were bribed to prepare the reports, to the likings and benefits of their paymasters.
Because of the proliferation of social media, some anarchists have found their easy tools to create confusion. This media was also able to a great extent to sway even the mainstream media is playing up the communalism and casteism. Regrettably, the issues which should have been discussed by the media were ignored mainly because of the corrupt media. It is always easy for politicians to purvey lies through social media than any other media.
Be that as it may, it must be said in the same breath that in this era of powerful social media, it is easy to spread fake news. But it is equally true that fake news can also be exposed with Godspeed provided proper regulatory measures are framed.