Social Media: Prospect and Challenges

Online Censorship

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Combating misinformation spread on social media


  • Indian legal demands for online content removal are the fourth highest in the world, according to a report.

India on the top

  • For the study, the researchers collated all data to find out which governments censor online content the most and which channels are targeted by each government.
  • India is followed by Russia, Turkey, France, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Pakistan, the US and the UK in the top 10.
  • India and Russia are well ahead, accounting for 19.86 and 19.75 percent of the overall number of removal requests (390,764), respectively, Bischoff said.
  • While India sent 77,620 content removal requests, Russia sent 77,162 requests during the study period.
  • However, these two countries do not always dominate the top spots across all channels.

Why censorship in India?

  • The findings come at a time when India is trying to find ways to fight misinformation spread on social media.
  • According to Twitter records, many content removal demands from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology simply cited a violation of Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

On the hit list: Social media contents

  • While Facebook received most of the content take down requests from India, Google got it from Russia, Microsoft from China, Twitter from Turkey and Wikimedia from the US.
  • In fact, a vast majority – more than 90 per cent – of India’s government content removal requests went to Facebook, the findings showed.
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