Centre for Internet & Society

An SMS and social media rumour mongering campaign led to the exodus of almost 50,000 residents of Northeast India from their work places to their home towns. Sunil Abraham, Pavan Duggal, A Mukherji and Nikhil Pahwa spoke to CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose in Face the Nation episode that was telecasted in IBNLive on August 21, 2012.

Sagarika Ghose asked Sunil Abraham whether the government is blaming social media for its own failures of governance?

Sunil said that perhaps it is as Pawan said most of the intermediaries are required by law to take down content once it gets instructions from the government. But if one looks at the initial orders that the government sent these intermediaries those were very broad instructions. The order was addressed to all intermediaries under the IT Act — that means everybody from a cyber cafe to a domain name registrar, an ISP and a website host, and the initial instructions to these intermediaries did not mention any specific url, group or user id. The social media websites/internet intermediaries were expected to purge their networks and platform of all hate speech. Even if one looks at the other initial order to the telcos asking them to block bulk sms, it wasn't clear from the order when the order comes into effect and when the order will be lifted.

Watch the full video on IBNLive