Influencing people during election by misuse of social media, print media and electronic media is against our democracy and violating democratic structure. In the coming election, the Election Commission will have to take strict measures to prevent misuse of these mediums.
The misuse of social media, print media and electronic media in India is done by most of political parties and politicians. In the elections, it is used to provoke people with misleading information and this eliminates the fairness of elections. Several times we have seen that due to hate speeches, WhatsApp messeges , Facebook post and comments, riots broke out in UP, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Haryana, J & K, MP, West Behgal, and Southern states.
It is a matter of relief that social media itself is gearing up to stop its misuse. Facebook authorities has said that during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, they will bend false campaign and fake news through its network, while WhatsApp officials has said that it would encourage research to prevent the spread of wrong information. Social media has been under pressure for some time now. The issue of misuse of it is being raised loudly all over the world. For this reason, the micro-blogging site Twitter has to shut down 70 million fake accounts in the last two months. Violence and chaos were being spread through them.
It is worth mentioning that due to rumors spread through Whatsapp, there have been many mobs lynching in the country in the past. In view of this, the government asked WhatsAppe to take strict measures to stop the spread of irresponsible and inflammatory messages on its platform. Whatsapp gave a positive feedback on this. In a statement on Friday, he said in the statement that as an independent researcher, the person who will study the reports of misbehavior on his platform and explain ways to reduce them, he will receive a reward of 50 thousand dollars.
In March of this year, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica controversy came out. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica were charged on by obtaining personal information of more than 80 million and misusing them. This company was managing Donald Trump’s election campaign. Since then, Facebook has been wrapped up. In this case she had to apologize. Yet, as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are coming closer, the fear is becoming increasingly anticipating that somehow unknown Facebook will not have the means to influence the election results again. The central government has warned that if there is such an indication then it will not be good for it.
Twitters also working for similar kind of reforms, which may stop misuse the social platforms. Twitter recently freezes several fake accounts across the globe. These accounts were used to illegal activities and provoking people for violence and spreading such issues. It is being said that the US Parliament had put pressure on Twitter to act on these accounts. As far as India is concerned, on the one hand, rumors spread through social media lead to several incidents of violence and chaos; on the other hand, there is a possibility of them being influenced by elections.
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Paid News in Media
Print Media and Electronics Media also influenced with political parties. Many times we can see the biased role of our media because in India politics is the top of the priorities in all matters. Paid News is powerful tool of political parties and people who want to mislead the public. Paid News also should be banned in both the segments of our media.
Biased Television Media
Indian Television News Channels are also victim of political vandalism. We can see divided and biased television-media on our television screen. Few channels were against the party in power and reaming are in support of party in power. There is only few channels which can be counted on fingers unaffected from this thing. Media is known as fourth pillar of our democracy, but these news channels became the victims of power.
However, now it has come to light that Facebook’s Global Manager (Politics and Government Outreach) Katie Harbeth convinced Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat in a conversation in Seoul a few months ago that Facebook will bans fake reports during the election. While welcoming these Twitter and Facebook initiatives, it should not be forgotten that the public sentiment behind them is a key role. This process of making social media accountable must continue.