• The country of India established its first Internet regulations more than ten years ago.
• Arrests of Indian journalists for online activity Recent actions
• According to critics, constitute a pretext for restricting free expression.
Whatsapp & Twitter Updates: In the latest Technology news today you are going to get all the information about WhatsApp, Twitter Show Resistance as Government’s Fight Against Fake News Targets Dissent.
In May, Indian filmmaker Sandeep Ravindranath uploaded his most recent piece to YouTube. The nine-minute fictitious drama, Anthem for Kashmir, with no dialogue and shows a young political activist evading capture. Its repeated references to suspected extrajudicial killings in the fiercely militarised province, which India and Pakistan have fought for decades, were probably picked up on by Indian viewers. YouTube informed Ravindranath that a government agency had protested about the movie in a letter it sent him at the end of June.Even though the corporation was putting Anthem for Kashmir offline in the nation, the government notice’s specifics were stated to be classified. The director wasn’t taken aback. People have been imprisoned for little more than Facebook posts, he claims.
Although Kashmir has long been a touchy subject in India, other concerns have recently gained a new level of fervour. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become increasingly active in its efforts to combat online crimes and what it refers to as “false news” on social media. Executives at organisations who refuse to abide by orders to remove content might be sentenced to jail time under Indian law, including laws established in 2021. Indian journalists have been detained twice this year for online activity in incidents that have garnered international notice.Additionally, citing concerns for public safety, the government has tried to require Meta Platform’s WhatsApp to disclose information on specific encrypted talks.
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The government’s worries about misinformation, hate speech, and other online hazards have been heightened by India’s sizable and expanding Internet user base. Critics contend that the new actions are only a pretext for repressing dissent and free speech. According to Raman Jit Singh China, Asia policy director for the human rights organisation Access Now, India’s initial Internet regulations were written in a “complex, slapdash” manner more than ten years ago under a previous government in the wake of a significant terrorist assault. They were nevertheless broadly comparable to those in other significant democracies.Like other Internet watchdogs in India, China claims that the government restrictions are becoming increasingly irrelevant. He claims that “the government doesn’t follow its own rules.” “Due process is not followed by the government. The entire system is corrupt.The US social media behemoths, for whom India is a crucial market, are having major issues as a result and are putting up some resistance. WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in response to the requests for information sharing. Because of infractions involving hate speech, Twitter Inc. has removed posts from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party politicians and accounts. Requests from the government to delete tweets and accounts have swamped Twitter, and the company’s New Delhi office has been raided. Twitter petitioned an Indian court to contest the removal orders at the beginning of July.India is a big market for Google’s YouTube, which has more monthly subscribers there than Twitter does globally. (In 2020, YouTube published a number for the nation that was 325 million monthly views.) With its several languages and complex political system, India presents unique content moderation issues that the video service has had difficulty overcoming.
According to business records, the Indian government issued 1,670 takedown requests to YouTube last year, more than eight times as many as the US. How frequently YouTube complies with such demands is not disclosed by Google. Pamela Philipose, a seasoned editor in New Delhi and the author of Media’s Shifting Terrain, a book about Indian communications, claims that “the dread the government has fostered is pretty significant.”Jack Malon, a spokesman for YouTube, declined to comment on Anthem for Kashmir. In a statement, he said, “We have clear policies for removal requests from governments around the world.” After careful consideration, we restrict or remove content as necessary to comply with applicable laws and our Terms of Service. Ravindranath did not attend a meeting regarding the topic, the Indian technology ministry responded in a statement, stressing that it was following proper protocol. He claims he failed to comprehend the point of the meeting, which was planned after the video had been taken down and necessitated his journey to Delhi.Provocative material that supports the political priorities of Modi’s administration, critics claim, often escapes scrutiny. One such example is The Kashmir Files, a film that was released this year and has been criticised for being Hindu nationalist propaganda. The movie has “inflammatory scenes which are sure to spark communal conflict,” according to a lawsuit that tried in vain to prevent its publication. More than 50 million people have watched a trailer for The Kashmir Files on YouTube.According to Daphne Keller, head of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center, India is less of an anomaly than it is a sign of the approach many nations are moving to Internet legislation.She expresses concern that the Modi administration’s attempt to outlaw social media posts and encrypted communication under the guise of public safety and legality may spread to other countries. Keller suggests that we should take it as a cautionary tale for other troubled democracies. “And those of ours, too.” With is Sankalp Phartiyal.
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