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Chorus for curbs on social media

The NIC stressed the need to prevent social media from being used to fan communal hatred.

The NIC met Monday to discuss the threat of communal violence and stressed the need to prevent social media from being used to fan communal hatred.

The chief ministers ,who attended the meeting,demanded in one voice that the central government create “an oversight mechanism to control such medium”.

Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh urged the government to take “immediate steps to build capacity of internet service providers and mobile operators to block services within a given time frame”. On this,Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde later said a mechanism to suspend telephone and internet services was in place in Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar Abdullah,whose government had to grapple with riots in Kishtwar last month,suggested that “social networking sites should be encouraged to devise greater self-regulation lest they contribute to large-scale law and order disturbances.” And laws can be amended to achieve this,he added.

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Prithvi Raj Chavan of Maharashtra underlined that social media had been misused to be create a trust deficit and insecurity during riots in Dhule and Mumbai. “We should set up a social media lab under the state intelligence department to monitor all posts likely to endanger communal harmony,issue immediate cyber alerts to jurisdictional police to take preventive steps,and set up a mechanism to mobilise NGOs,religious leaders,eminent citizens who could immediately respond to counter the provocative posts,” he suggested.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh said, “The provocative speeches on internet using social tools needs to be controlled.” His Kerala counterpart Oommen Chandy added,“Social networking sites are sometimes misused for ill motivated propaganda and for organising agitations or riots and should be controlled.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,on his part,acknowledged the concerns over social media and said the threat from divisive forces must be dealt with firmly.

First published on: 24-09-2013 at 01:23:12 am
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