Government does not regulate content appearing on social media sites: IT Minister

The minister said that social media has emerged as a popular online medium or platform to enable users to share ideas and express views or opinions on specific topics

The government does not regulate content on social media and is committed to freedom of speech, expression and privacy of citizens, Minister of State for Electronics and IT S S Ahluwalia informed Parliament on Wednesday.

“Government does not regulate content appearing on social media sites and law enforcement and security agencies may take action on a specific case-to-case basis as per law in force,” Ahluwalia said in a reply to a query around fake news.

The minister said that social media has emerged as a popular online medium or platform to enable users to share ideas and express views or opinions on specific topics and it acknowledges some people misusing it.

“These platforms can be accessed by all sections of society and this is facilitated by the virtual and borderless nature of cyberspace, where anyone can open account in any name including fake name from any part of the world, thus leading to misuse by some persons,” Ahluwalia said.

Responding to a question on steps taken by the government to address the problem arising out of social media misuse, Ahluwalia cited rules in the Information Technology Act 2000 which provides for action to remove or block any objectionable content.

“Government is fully committed to freedom of speech and expression and privacy of its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” Ahluwalia added.

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