October 9, 2020 7:00:27 pm
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi Friday wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in search of an “pressing and honest investigation” into the misuse of social media platforms that “destabilise governments and undermine constitutional establishment”. She urged them to formulate tips that maintain social media firms accountable.
The Rajya Sabha MP cited a current investigation by the Mumbai police which purportedly discovered that “over 80,000 faux and illegitimate social media accounts” have been created to “malign the Maharashtra authorities and Mumbai police” in the course of the probe into the demise of an actor.
Chaturvedi’s letter got here days after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said motion can be taken in opposition to social media accounts that had maligned Mumbai Police on-line.
The minister was referring to allegations on social media that actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was discovered hanging in his dwelling on June 14, had been murdered – and that the state administration, together with Cooper Hospital, the place the post-mortem was carried out, and Mumbai Police, have been attempting to falsely painting the demise as suicide. The AIIMS medical board has ruled out murder within the actor’s demise and termed it “demise by suicide”.
Following the AIIMS report, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh mentioned police have been monitoring the “faux accounts” which were “defaming” the power, and have already registered two FIRs.
In her letter, Chaturvedi mentions a research on “conspiracy narrative” across the demise of the actor that exhibits “how authorities authority could be destroyed, undermined, and destabilised by way of a malicious social media marketing campaign on unchecked platforms”.
“The researchers at University of Michigan studied YouTube pages of mainstream tv information channels, Twitter trending hashtags, and tweets from politicians, influencers, journalists, and media homes in India, and located a lot of the push had a definite political edge to assault the Maharashtra authorities,” she wrote.
Citing the August report by the Wall Street Journal that mentioned Facebook’s high public coverage government in India “opposed making use of hate-speech guidelines” to at the very least 4 people and teams linked with the BJP, Chaturvedi mentioned social media platforms throughout democracies are being investigated for his or her function “in rigging elections, of bias in direction of sure ideologies, of not contemplating the real-life affect of hearsay mongering and faux information.”
Emphasising on the necessity to formulate tips on social media firms, Chaturvedi cited the instance of the US Congress which has within the current previous referred to as upon the top of Facebook and Twitter to clarify steps taken to curb misinformation on their platforms, the function of algorithm in perpetuating such misinformation and points pertaining to digital privateness and many others.
“Why is it that the Indian Government is hesitating to ask them (heads of social media platforms) to clarify their function in our nation? Certainly, a rustic of a billion individuals which is their greatest market is owed an evidence and made to grasp that they can’t operate as legislation unto themselves to maximise personal revenues,” she mentioned.
Concluding her letter, Chaturvedi mentioned she hopes appropriate steps can be taken to “be certain that no establishments of democracy are undermined on the altar of those platforms’ revenue”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and keep up to date with the newest headlines