What we and the government can do to control social media

Government has blocked major social media in Sri Lanka but the leading social media influencers log into it via VPN and continue as they are.

President Maithripala Sirisena announced that the government is having discussions with social media companies to seek their support to regulate them.

First of all, we must define what this regulation means. Regulation must definitely not be control of political content the government does not like. It must be the wrong use of social media for subversive activities. This includes spread of unconfirmed news irresponsibly.

It is not such a difficult task. It is hopeless giving the social media companies the responsibility of controlling the content. They are less capacity of handling local languages.

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However, with the support of the progressive social media users, the government authorities like special police units can monitor them. What is necessary is the government having professional link with the social media companies. People can channel their complains to the government authority and the authority then can pass it to the social media companies after further study together with recommendations. Social media companies can warn the admins of the relevant profiles, pages and groups can warn once and then they can be blocked in case the offensive behaviour continues. The admins may be given chance to appeal legally both to the government authority and the social media companies producing their true identity.

This is not rocket science and can be easily implemented. Remove the ban and act. Fear is not the solution.

  • Praja.lk Team
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