Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
3) Rising media has facilitated the drawing together of people in tight networks of like-mindedness in the context of recent Lok Sabha elections, evaluate the pros and cons of this new form of emergence of pressure groups.(250 words)
Why this question:
As nearly 900 million Indians engaged in voting over recent weeks to select the country’s next government, social media companies have come under pressure to try to control fake news and misinformation. The question highlights how the social media has come to facilitate forming pressure groups.
Key demand of the question:
The answer must evaluate social media as facilitator of pressure groups and a stage for coming together of like-minded people. One should weigh the pros and cons associated.
Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences. You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by highlighting the trends of rising social media.
In brief discuss –
- Discuss the evolution of social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook ,twitter etc. as a platform for airing views.
- Discuss how social media and messaging platforms may have accelerated the ways in which people share rumors and mobilize mob violence.
- Need to tackle the scourge of fake news, rumors, and hate speech online.
- Quote examples – India has a long history of communal and caste-based violence. Successive central and state governments have failed to prosecute those most responsible, including public officials accused of complicity or dereliction of duty in high-profile cases. For instance, vigilante “cow-protection” groups have killed at least 44 people since May 2015 on suspicions that the victims were trading or killing cows for beef in violation of Hindu religious beliefs.
- Discuss the need for WhatsApp and other social media and messaging companies to become more transparent, devote more resources to respond to legitimate threats, and work with fact-checkers, nongovernmental groups, activists and journalists on the ground.
- Discuss and suggest way forward.
Conclude with necessity of having checks and curbs on such facilitating platforms.