There was news that the social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram may face a ban in India if they fail to comply with the new intermediary guidelines for social media platforms. The three-month deadline given by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) to accept these guidelines ends today i.e., May 25 but none of the giants has so far accepted the new regulations.
All these apps know India will not be able to breathe without them, and simply banning them is not possible for the Indian government. In my opinion, the Indian government should not go to that extent because our PM himself is very active on social media. He has become popular post his social networking skills among the younger population.
Also, India is a big market with millions of software developers which means social media is a huge economic booster to some extent. He will never risk economic development in his term so as to prove himself. I also think social media is a big platform to communicate which increases usage of data packages which means growing mobile companies and ads up to economic growth as well as creates jobs. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Local social media platform Koo, which is the Indian version of Twitter, is the only platform that has so far accepted the Centre’s intermediary guidelines because that is new in the market and has everything to lose if not abide by the requirements. It cannot risk losing status as social media platforms and protections as intermediaries.
The government can also take action against all social media platforms as per the law of the land for not following the rules but they are bound to deal with non-compliance. However strict the government is, one thing is sure, they can’t ban any social media platform because their own survival is social media. Uttar Pradesh elections are ahead, there is too much chaos in each city. BJP has only one platform for an image makeover and that is social media.
Meanwhile, Facebook has indicated that it’ll comply with the IT rules. According to the IT rules, they are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiencies. Facebook says they remain committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on their platform.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer. The appointment of a grievance officer would be a key requirement from day one of rules coming into effect, given the importance of public interface for complaints, and the need for an acknowledgement system for requests.
As per data cited by the government, India has 53 crores WhatsApp users, 44.8 crore YouTube users, 41 crore Facebook subscribers, 21 crores Instagram clients, while 1.75 crore account holders are on microblogging platform Twitter. Koo has close to 60 lakh users, making it a major social media intermediary under the new guidelines.
Banning social media needs guts, and if the government decides to show fortitude, then the net requirement would drop down to 1 GB or even less. People would have more time of their own. There would be a decrease in cybercrime. People would have better performance reports. True relationships would blossom. The fake ones would have only a few breaths left. The virtual world would shrink in size.
People would be less obsessed about their dresses, phones they use and how they look. Actors or ministers would not have to worry about their trolling. Parents and teachers would have fewer complaints about their children.
Less fake news would be known to many. One thing is if YouTube is banned, competition between the number of subscribers for the T series and PewDiePie channels will completely end. The selfie craze will reduce in India. By the way, many people will be deprived of watching trailers of new movies as they used to watch it on YouTube before. People following celebrities socially will be reduced if Twitter is banned.
People may face little discomfort but political parties will stop breathing. PM Narendra Modi to his entire cabinet and all other state governments and ministers has spent crores of rupees on their image makeover on social media. At this moment they would be the biggest losers and IT cells of political parties would be a new lot of jobless youth in India.
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