78% Citizens want social media companies to take actions against user accounts engaged in harassment, trolling and abuse
- • Want such content removed within 24 hours of posting
- • Social Media companies have signed up for such content regulation in EU
- • 89% Citizens surveyed want them to sign up for a similar regulation in India
- • Majority citizens believe such moves will make Social Media in India safer and better
March 6, 2017, New Delhi: In light of the recent events in the last few weeks, it is pretty clear that trolling has become a major issue and a cause of concern on social media platforms in India. Agreeing or disagreeing with someone’s personal views on various social media platforms is fine, but when it leads to the person getting hate and offensive comments including death threats, you know that things have gone too far and will have to be pulled back at the system level.
Citizen engagement platform LocalCircles conducted a survey on making Social Media more responsible in India. The discussion was initiated after many issues were raised by citizens all across India on the subject of hate, abuse, troll and harassment prevalent on social media and an urgent need to do something about it. When asked if the social media platforms should remove offensive, hate and rumour based content pro-actively, a huge 89% answered in an affirmative. Meagre 8% citizens disagreed with it and 5% chose not to answer. 14,395 responses were received in this poll.
Recently, a regulation was signed upon in the European Union by major social media companies, which require them to proactively monitor social media and remove any hate or offensive content within 24 hours of posting. In a related poll in which more than 14,000 citizens voted, 89% citizens said that there was definitely a need for a similar regulation in India to make social media a safer and more responsible space.
In the third poll, when asked if companies like Twitter and Facebook should be responsible for taking action against accounts that are engaged in trolling, abuse and harassment of others, 78% citizens agreed with it while 17% said it should not be done.
Citizens also made several recommendations to prevent unhealthy trolling on social media in India like algorithms being implemented to constantly moderate the user content, members being warned for hate/offensive comments leading to account suspension of repeat offenders, anything spreading against nation/nationalism to be caught and reported immediately and people should be educated that freedom of expression is important but it should not lead to rumour mongering, character assassination and meaningless speculation.