Mains Paper: 3 | Social Networking sites in internal security challenges
'Whatsapp like services should be more proactive in dealing with fake news/rumor mongering in countries like India'. Comment.
• From the last few months, WhatsApp has served as a dis-information superhighway for viral rumors and campaigns that could be said to have played a role in incidents of lynching.
.Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook, has over 200 million users in India.
• It would have come under severe pressure if it had allowed its services to be misused with such malevolent intent in a Western market, and the Indian government has a right to expect it to conduct its business more responsibly.
Loopholes and solution:
• The messenger must not be targeted, but it must be more responsible if it is not to invite the greatest evil — state snooping and censorship.
• Internet hosts and pipes were absolved of responsibility for content in the early years of digital communications, following a landmark investigation of child pornography in the UK and US in 2001.
• That time the technology solutions for flagging inappropriate or illegal content were inadequate, and burdening hosts with the responsibility of human oversight would have put them out of business.
• However, that is no longer the case thanks to Moore’s Law and the proliferation of new technologies like artificial intelligence.
• For instance, fake or wrongly attributed images are easily identified now.
• Fact-checking websites do it routinely, by human labour, and the processes they use can be readily incorporated in algorithms.
• This should have been called out and deleted by WhatsApp, on whose service it circulated.
• WhatsApp must establish an office in India and appoint a grievance officer, in the interest of fixing accountability and expediting action to identify originators of fake content.
. Local data center could also be established
• Indeed, if social media policed itself better, there would be fewer internet shutdowns, whose business cost is immense.
• And the last resort of state surveillance, which no one wants, would become wholly unnecessary.
- Social media policy, Social media hub
- Dragnet surveillance
- fake news, alternative facts
- Click farms
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