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FB official says he has right to remain silent

Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

FB official says he has right to remain silent:


Context:

Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan recently told the Supreme Court that the summons issued to him by the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee, which is probing the Delhi riots of February 2020, was “politically motivated”.

What’s the issue?

  • Invoking his right to silence, Ajit Mohan said he will not appear before the Committee which is examining the role of Facebook in failing to curb hate speech in connection with the riots.
  • He claimed that the inquiry by the Committee will soon evolve into what is hate speech and what is permissible speech, which would be very polarising subjects.

What is Hate Speech?

Hate speech is an incitement to hatred against a particular group of persons marginalized by their religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, and so on.

  • The Law Commission, in its 267th report on hate speech, said such utterances have the potential to provoke individuals and society to commit acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

Why Hate Speech must be curbed?

  1. Internal Security: The Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 was triggered by a fake video that incited communal passions.
  2. Igniting extremist sentiments.
  3. Mob lynching.
  4. Misinformation and disinformation: Delhi Riots.

Measures:

  1. The world’s biggest social media companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter and ByteDance, are exploring an industry-wide alliance to curb fake news on their platforms in India.
  2. Election Commission of India must tie up with tech companies to identify the creator of such news.
  3. Educating the end-users.
  4. The government should bring out a policy framework on the possible harm due to the internet messaging platforms to engage at a deeper level.
  5. Imposing hefty fines, like in Germany the Social media companies face fines of up to €50m if they persistently fail to remove illegal content from their sites.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Information Technology Act.
  2. Section 66A of the Act.
  3. About the Law Commission of India.
  4. Regulation of Hate speech under IT Act.

Mains Link:

What is Hate speech? How it should be curbed? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.