Prasad warns social media firms on platform misuse

Prasad warns social media firms on platform misuse

The IT Ministry, Ravi Shankar Prasad, last year, began work on tightening rules for social media and online companies, for which it held wide public consultations. (PTI Photo)

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday asked social media firms to maintain constitutional sanctity and remain vigilant against any misuse of their platforms for acts of terrorism, communalism and breaking the country.

The Minister, who took charge here, told reporters that "platforms should not be allowed to be used for terrorism, extremism and communalism. These are well-known issues. We all respect freedom of speech and expression that is sacrosanct for us and part of the constitutional guarantee, but that is also subject to reasonable restriction."

"The expansion of social media platforms is welcome but use of social media for terrorism, extremist ideas, or to break the country, will not be allowed. If a platform is misused for such purposes, it will be unfortunate and suitable action will be taken," the Minister warned.

The IT Ministry, last year, began work on tightening rules for social media and online companies, for which it held wide public consultations.

The Minister said his priority would be sending Data Protection Bill to Parliament. However, he did not specify whether it will be taken up in the upcoming Parliament session which starts from June 17.

He added that his ministry plans to set up one lakh digital villages, the establishment of the national data grid, start-up hub, driving digital literacy, and accelerating the growth of digital payments with the support of home-grown technologies.

The minister said that Aadhaar Seva Kendras, conceptualised on the lines of Passport Seva Kendras, will be opened in 10 cities soon.

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