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The power of social media

69226118 - colorful internet of things design concept with icons - digital network connections, technology background

69226118 - colorful internet of things design concept with icons - digital network connections, technology background

The door swings both ways with what can be a powerful tool. Here’s a look at what the new IT Rules for 2021 mean for the future of social media in the country

“You are what you share,” said Charles Leadbeater. Human history from the Stone Age to Metal Age is now in the digital age with the most promising tool —  social media .  Data is now much more important than gold. It is today's reality that social media — when used strategically over time — is the most powerful form of marketing and market research the world has ever seen. But it’s not a magic bean that grows overnight into business success. It’s a platform for real work. Baba Ka Dhaba and Ranu Mandal are the talks of the town in India setting up new examples of growth and success. The art is in knowing the best places to put in that work so you get results and not just unregulated attention.

Recently Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a press conference notified new, stricter guidelines for  social media  intermediaries that will make it compulsory for platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook to aid in identifying the “originator” of “unlawful” messages. These new laws,  Information Technology  Rules for 2021, will repudiate some parts of the  Information Technology  (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011. These will require big social media companies to take down unlawful content within a specific time. These new rules will regularise the use and abuse of popular online platforms.

Aartee Mishra, Top Unacademy Educator .

Aartee Mishra, Top Unacademy Educator .

 

Nowadays, this is a most deliberate topic worldwide, not just in India. Various countries are taking different paths to regulate  social media  and big-techs. Australia is pushing companies such as Google and Facebook to share revenue with news publishers, while the UK and the European Union each set out a strict new regimen to tackle the removal of illegal content online, including terrorism material, child abuse and cyberbullying. 

The government says it is empowering users of social media and other intermediaries. Platforms like Facebook will also have to create a new interface for India, which will give users the option to verify users through authorised know-your-customer (KYC) processes and display a verification tag for those who seek this and a grievance redressal system for OTT platforms and digital news media portals as well. This will compel social media intermediaries to customise their global practices to cater to Indian laws. However, some experts said the rules violate freedom of speech and expression, and  privacy

Back in the day, making yourself heard meant approaching a media house. Today, airing grievances is merely a tweet away. However, social media comes with its pitfalls as well, making cyberbullying and online threats an uncomfortable reality. 

Ultimately the pros and cons of social media depend on how we use it. If used right,  social media  can be a powerful tool for change and communication. Used the wrong way and social media can cause some major damage as was seen during The Arab Spring in which a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. 

While social media can help us connect better to friends and family, it is amazing how reading comments and watching online content can present a new perspective as well. Breaking the stereotypes and changing mindsets is one of social media’s wins.

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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 1:34:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/brandhub/the-power-of-social-media/article34027538.ece