IS SOCIAL MEDIA A FRIEND OR FOE FOR YOU?

Social media has become an integral part in the lives of people. It is whether sharing pictures, videos, information, conversations etc. people are more indulged in connecting with the virtual world rather than the physical world. Growing digitalization efforts combined with low data prices enabled a significant number of people to use the internet actively across India. Of these, about 448 million were active social media users. On average, Indian users spent 2.4 hours on social media, in line with the global average. Social media has proved to be a boon for countless people worldwide from building successful careers to serving as an aid in the course of hardships. However, just like a coin has two sides, everything has its merits and demerits. We all are introduced to the merits of social media which is endless. But, the misuse of social media sets as the major drawback which is eventually growing each day.

How social media is becoming a foe for the users?                                                     

Social media has put the privacy of users at stake.Followed by it, Fake news has come up as the modern day poison which has the power to create havoc circumstances single handedly. The biggest challenge on which the Government has an eye on is to stop consumption of fake news by the people. Social media is the root cause of spreading fake news. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how social media helped the helpless ones in terms of beds, oxygen cylinders, medicines and other necessary equipments but it was also the major source of spreading many fake news among the people which cannot be entertained in critical times. These drawbacks are sufficient enough to become a foe for a user.

Centre against the abuse of social media:                                                                          

IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has step towards curbing this social issue as these unfair practices can ruin a country. The new guidelines for social media laid by the government of India become a flashpoint for a shadow down between the government and Twitter and WhatsApp over issues of privacy and free speech. The minister said that these guidelines didn’t spring up suddenly. On the contrary, he said there are two Supreme Court judgments – the Prajwala case of 2018 regarding child pornography and the September 2019 case of Facebook versus the Union of India where Supreme Court said that it is imperative that there is a properly – framed regime to find out the persons, institutions, and the bodies who are the originators of such content messages. Child sexual abuse, one of the serious crimes is also being conducted through this social media which is eventually exploiting the youth of the country.

Formation of the new guidelines: It has been found that use of social media is more prominent for abusing the people in different contexts thus portraying the wrong message of hatred and violence among the people. Moreover, it was decided that the victims of abuse must have a forum for redressal of their grievances.

Conflict between the government and Social media companies:                           

On February 25, the Indian government notified the new guidelines in the gazette, and gave the significant intermediaries a three – month period to comply, which included appointing officers for compliance, addressing grievances and being a nodal person. But, sadly these social media companies aren’t in favor of complying their rules against these new guidelines. They haven’t appointed grievance officers to listen to the sufferings of the victims of abuse. It is the fundamental right of the citizen to raise his/her voice against any social injustice. The minister clearly informed that these social media companies with millions of net worth are suppressing the voices of the victims, which is not at all acceptable in India. They should be accountable to the Indian laws and constitution.     

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                                  

Excess to anything is harmful for you. Social media is definitely a boon till used in a limited and proper manner. It should be used for what it has been made for. Then, it will act as your friend. Access to unfair and excessive mean would surely going to ruin your own life by turning out to be your biggest foe in life.

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