Social media forums muzzling free speech, PM a victim: Study

More than 400 million people in India are connected to the Internet and most of them are on social media, which has come to play a major role in democracies across the world.

Published: 25th February 2019 08:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2019 08:59 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Public Policy Research Centre, a BJP affiliate, in a study on social media forums has said that such platforms are curbing the right to free speech and there is absence of rule of law and principles of natural justice. The study said that PM Narendra Modi is also a victim of their policy of shadow ban, as these social media platforms are abusing their policies in a discretionary manner and indulge in shadow banning.

More than 400 million people in India are connected to the Internet and most of them are on social media, which has come to play a major role in democracies across the world. While it provides a means for airing public opinion and reaching out to policy makers, it has also come to acquire a role of an opinion leader as a narrative set here has the capability to drastically alter socio-economic situation of the country and also, if unjustly used, undermine ethics of a democracy.

In this backdrop, PPRC (Public Policy Research Centre) undertook a research study on ‘Question of Social Media Justice’ to find out the truth behind these allegations on these platforms. This research report is an attempt to understand the conduct of these platforms in maintaining the right to free speech of people. Started as the platforms for free speech, there has been a huge censorship of online forums in the last few years in the name of promoting healthy discussions.

“The discretionary use of power in suspension and deletion of accounts, highlights the threat that these organisations are posing to free speech. Shadow banning is another aspect where they are targeting one particular set of people belonging to an ideology. Evidence suggests that one of the most powerful leaders of the world, Indian PM Narendra Modi, is also a victim of their policy of shadow ban,” said Dr Sumeet Bhasin, Director PPRC.

The study report claimed evidence to suggest that a particular pattern in the actions taken by these forums against users.

‘Platforms abusing their policies’

The study said, “In a country ruled by the constitution under which every citizen is guaranteed the fundamental right to freedom of free speech and expression, this is a blatant violation of the of the articles enshrined in the Constitution. The study said that the social media forums are abusing their policies in a discretionary manner

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