Government mulling regulations for social media to prevent misuse: Shinde

Government mulling regulations for social media to prevent misuse: Shinde
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Saturday drew attention toward the alleged "misuse" of social media in circulating old "provocative" photographs to foment communal riots, and said his ministry was mulling to put a check on it.

"Sitting in the Home Ministry, I see old provocative photographs being circulated on Facebook, which [I feel] results in communal riots," Shinde said in an indirect reference to the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The minister was addressing a function at the launch of a Hindi newspaper in Patna. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad were also present.

"Recently there were some provocative items about the North East and strict action was taken," Shinde said.

"Seeing the evil impact of social media which is taking the society in a wrong direction we are thinking of imposing a check on them," the union home minister said.

Shinde lamented the "twisting" of facts in the name of investigative journalism and said it was a challenge for the media to uphold honest journalism.

"There is a question mark today on how much truth media reports give it's a big challenge for newspapers to maintain honesty of journalism," he said.

Shinde said the print media also faces challenge from faster mode of delivery of information on Internet.

The government's stance on the control or at least regulation of social media has been becoming clearer in the recent past, with the prime minister and a number of chief ministers demanding some mechanism to check its uncontrolled use at the National Integration Council (NIC) in September.

The meeting, chaired by the prime minister, was being held against the backdrop of last year's communal riots in Muzaffarnagar. Many at the meeting expressed serious concern over growing incidents of communal violence, and the need for parties to stop exploiting them for political gains, especially with the upcoming elections.

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