New Delhi: The government, under fire from the opposition over its failure to rein in the communal violence in northeast Delhi last week, is now contemplating issuing fresh guidelines to social media platforms, several reports have stated. Also Read - Muslim Youths Thrashed in Uttar Pradesh as 'Revenge' For Delhi Violence, Also Accused of Cow Slaughter
The possible move comes as the government, reports state, feels that social media has become ‘a tool to propagate hate and spread inflammatory messages.’ Also Read - 'Centre Creating Panic on Coronavirus to Divert Attention From Delhi Violence,' Alleges Mamata Banerjee
The issue, according to reports, was discussed in a meeting at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday, during which social media firms came under severe criticism. However, it was Twitter, which is learnt to have come under particular criticism for its lower and slower compliance rates, with Delhi Police Commissioner, SN Shrivastava, referring to specific tweets that were circulated on February 23 and 24, eventually triggering violence. Also Read - Delhi Violence: Congress Delegation Led by Rahul Gandhi Visits Riot-hit Areas to Assess Situation
The meeting was chaired by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and was also attended by officials from the Information and Technology (IT), Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministries, Delhi Police officers and executives from Google, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and TikTok.
Reportedly, the government, during the meeting, made it clear to social media platforms that ‘it did not want them to peddle fake news and spread hatred,’ like what they did in the national capital last week. Further, the MHA is learnt to have directed the IT Ministry to take up the issue with social media companies.
Last week’s violence initially began as a clash between pro- and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters in Maujpur. However, it escalated into communal violence the next day and continued till late Tuesday night.
Thus far, a death toll of 47, due to these clashes, has been recorded.