Anti-lynching measures: social media sites to be held responsible

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Anti-lynching law –need, challenges


News

Context

  1. A panel headed by Union Home Secretary deliberated on measures to check incidents of lynching, submitted its report.
  2. From May-June, more than 20 people were lynched based on fake posts or rumors floating on various social media platforms.
  3. The panel have come to the conclusion that social media platforms  needed to act in a time bound manner.

Action for non-compliance

  1. Most social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter would be made accountable for not blocking such malicious posts/videos when brought to their notice.
  2. FIR could be lodged against their country heads” for non-compliance of government orders and they could be prosecuted under law.

Talks with stakeholders

  1. Govt have stepped up engagement with social media platforms.
  2. There is a provision in law which enables government to issue orders to remove objectionable content, block websites etc.
  3. Law enforcement agencies are to step up the act and monitor more proactively.
  4. The social media platforms were given a report showing their compliance with the various government orders.

Other Initiatives

  1. The Ministry has created a portal where people can report such videos and content and that can be forwarded by the NCRB (the nodal body) to States concerned for appropriate action.
  2. Earlier the Home Ministry issued advisories to States and Union Territories following Supreme Court’s directives to check incidents of lynching.
  3. The Centre asked states to appoint an officer in each district at the level of Superintendent of Police, set up a special task force to gather intelligence, and closely monitor social media contents to prevent mob attacks on suspicion of being child-lifters or cattle smugglers.
Social Media: Prospect and Challenges
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