Sunday, December 11, 2011

Should social networking sites be censored?

The proposed initiative by the union communication and IT minister to put the social networking sites under the scanner has raised heated debate through out the country. The government is worried due to the misuse of these sites by some perturbed minded individuals who use them to play with the emotions of the people. The government and the people of the country will have to think seriously before forming their opinion regarding the use and misuse of these sites. Some people are calling it as the attack on the freedom of expression and there is another group who endorse the idea of the minister as to be a step thought of in the right direction. The arguments given by both the sides seem to be correct from their perspective and that is the reason we should be very careful and control our emotions before criticizing others. We have a right to express our views but at the same time the other people are also equally eligible and free to express their views. Sometimes we get so much blinded by our own thoughts that others point of view does not remain within our reach. Let us try to understand it in context of our education and the rights and duties defined for the people in the constitution of the country.
We are proud of the vision of our forefathers who envisaged such a wonderful and elaborate constitution which is appreciated by all nations of the world. The balance drawn between the rights and duties is so clear and written in such a beautiful way that all the pillars of the society are free to work without interfering in the functioning of the others. This has been working effectively and the people of the country enjoyed their rights as given by the constitution. The upsurge of the communication through electromagnetic waves, specially the Internet, has brought the people of the country and the world very close to each other. This was welcomed by all and even those who were not very comfortable with the use of the technology. Over a period of time, I feel, this has taken over the other aspects of communication and the interaction with the people. In this age of  machines, the emotions and sentiments of life were left behind and now it seems to have been further lost because of the onslaught of too much information at the click of a button. Earlier the people of the country used to discuss and debate upon various issues face to face and then take a decision based on the outcome of the debate. The feelings of each other were understood better then, than now. The use of Internet and other such mode is not always negative but at the same time the other side is also not true. Social networking sites seem to have brought people closer but the fact is that they have been driven further away physically. The use of different kinds of words for the children and the youth of the country has not done much of good to them and the nation. I do not understand why children and the youth should not be allowed to grow in a natural environment than exposing them to so many artificial things in the form of machines or gizmos. All know it well why these social networking sites came into existence. This is also clear that these were born in those countries where the people had been staying away from each other due to their social fabric. It was good for those people who were not able to see each other on regular basis even if this was a close family relationship. The small thing which was started by someone for his personal use now has become the means of interaction for the billions of the people around the globe. This is being used and enjoyed by all but at the same time people have been raising their voice against the negative impact of the same on the society at large and the children in particular. They have become addicted to such sites and the ill-effects of the same are very much visible to many of us. Those people who think this way may be labelled as conservative or someone who did not like the progress and the change. But we should not forget that if there are some uses of these social networking sites,there are certain drawbacks too. If there is no regulation for the same, this might prove to be very dangerous for the people of the country. Most of the parents and the teachers of the school going children are aware about the problems being faced by them. The mind of children is very pure but also get influenced by the external environment very quickly. The parents are struggling with the misuse of these sites which probably are not meant for the children of less than eighteen years of age. Though these sites can be used for the ulterior motives by the grown up people also and the government must ensure that this does not happen to avoid making the country susceptible to the danger of being driven towards  instability. I think some control (self or the external) is necessary to keep the things in the right direction. If it is not so then there is always a possibility of  disorder and chaos in the society. For instance,if water is given a free-flow or is untamed, then everyone knows that this can wipe out anything on its way. Similarly,the youth of the country is the powerhouse of energy and if the energy of the children and the youth is not directed properly there may be more problems and difficult situations created.
The government seems to be right while asking the social networking sites to self regulate themselves and filter the information which can be obscene and derogatory in terms of the language and hurt the feelings and the sentiments of other people. If something is shared by a small or large group of the people which does not use derogatory and  foul language, it should not be interfered with. The people are free to express their opinion but hurting the religious or social feelings of others should not be allowed and encouraged in the name of freedom of expression. All of us should understand and appreciate the views of others in an appropriate manner but the use of the language should be as dignified as possible. The government should also be clear and make people of the country believe that such control or restriction on the social networking sites will never be used for the benefit of an individual or the party or the government in power but for the good and safety of all the people and the country. Well defined boundaries should be drawn so that all know that the government did not take this step for the personal reasons but in the interest of the country. They should also define that how much is too much. The social networking sites have done a lot of good and the people should not be deprived of such platform from where they can portray their feelings and learn from each other in a more comfortable way. The social networking sites should evolve the ways in which abusive language or the things which hurt religious feelings and beliefs of people are censored and blocked. This may seem to be a difficult task today, but if tried that is seems possible because of the progress being made by the software and hardware wings of the engineers in this field. The government should also be very careful because excess of anything will have serious repercussions.The great physicist Albert Eintein once said,"Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure". How very true it is in this context. Only if the pros and cons are evaluated and a proper debate is held taking the views of the people from all walks of life,then a decision should be taken,accepting the change as an opportunity and ability to do better in future.  

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