Published: 04th February 2022
Government ready with stricter social media rules: IT Min Ashwini Vaishnaw tells Rajya Sabha
The question was raised by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and MP Jharna Das Baidya during the Question Hour
Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday sought consensus of the Rajya Sabha members to make strict social media rule, saying the "government is ready" on the matter.
To a question raised by Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Jharna Das Baidya during Question Hour, the Minister said, "If the house has consensus, we are willing to provide even stricter social media rules". "At this point, we are working within the framework of the Constitution. But yes, going forward we need to make the social media more accountable," Vaishnav said when asked by Baidya that if he would be able to "state whether the government has formulated any rules or guidelines for the social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook".
Replying to the action taken by the government against the companies in the event of non-adherence to rules by them and the steps being taken especially in the wake of defiance being exercised by Twitter, Vaishnaw said that "protecting women" is a priority of the government. "Investigation was initiated as soon as any issue was brought to notice of the government. Action has been taken swiftly on all points that came to the fore. Whenever government takes any step to make social media accountable, the Opposition alleges an attack on freedom of speech, which is not true. We have to strike a balance," said the Minister.
He further said that social media has to be made accountable to make them safe spaces and that there are five significant social media intermediaries as mandated by the government. "All significant social media intermediaries are obliged to publish their monthly compliance reports," the minister said.