Ravi Shankar Prasad says, Social media should weed out circulation of fake news

Aug 01, 2018, 13:24 IST | PTI

"Any foreign entity, Facebook or Cambridge Analytica, cannot abuse the data of Indians to influence elections of India. India's elections are very transparent, sanctified," Prasad in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour

Ravi Shankar Prasad says, Social media should weed out circulation of fake news
Representational Picture

Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said social media platforms should themselves weed out circulation of fake news and that the government will not tolerate abuse of data by companies for influencing elections in India. He said the government has ordered a CBI investigation into alleged misuse of data of Indian Facebook users by British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. "Any foreign entity, Facebook or Cambridge Analytica, cannot abuse the data of Indians to influence elections of India. India's elections are very transparent, sanctified," Prasad in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

The government has told social media platforms that fake news or abusive news cannot be circulated and re-circulated to "create crimes" in India, Prasad said, adding, "that will not be acceptable". "Therefore the origin of that news should also be technologically answered. I have conveyed to them in a very clear observation that it does not need rocket science to identify lakhs of messages being circulated on a particular day, in a particular area of a particular state. You must have technological solutions," Prasad said.

The minister's comments come within days of rumours on social media platform Whatsapp triggering lynching incidents in the country. Prasad said while Facebook has apologised to the Government of India and said data was pilfered by other agencies, Cambridge Analytica gave just one reply and did not follow up the other reply. "Therefore, because of these diversions and since the reply was not adequately convincing, I have referred the matter to the CBI," Prasad said.

The Minister said Facebook in its response has said that about 5.62 lakh Indians may have been potentially affected in the Cambridge Analytica case. "However, Cambridge Analytica responded that they do not have any Facebook data on Indian citizens. To a second notice, Facebook informed that Cambridge Analytica had violated Facebook's policy. Cambridge Analytica has not responded to the second notice," he said.

He said the government has asked social media platforms to appoint a grievance officer in India before whom complaints can be made and comply with the requirements of Indian law. "We respect privacy. But privacy cannot be used to shield terrorists and corrupt," he added.

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says 'Malala not worth of Nobel Prize'

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK