New Delhi: Information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani may not check her Twitter account every morning, but she is well aware of the hatred on social media. She says she has been a victim of it as well. So, she, along with the government, has big plans on how to bring about regulations on social media.
“The government is working to become a troll monitor. The news is now filled with views,” Irani said at the News18 Rising India Summit. “We cannot ignore the capacity of fake news to demean. We cannot ignore the technology engineered to deteriorate,” she added.
The problem for Irani, as she said, is that “everyone has a stage now”.
However, Irani didn’t ignore the positive part either. She said that governance is personalised through social media. “Often social media has been helpful too,” she said. “I see a burst of creativity aided by technology but also challenged by it,” she said. She also said that Twitter and Facebook help in personalising governance. “Now when policies are made, citizens are involved,” she said.
Irani said that she is aware of her responsibilities on social media. “Every citizen on social media should be aware of their rights,” she added.
Irani was sharing the stage with Prasoon Joshi, the CBFC chief. As the conversation moved to censorship, Padmaavat and Pahlaj Nihalanai, Irani quoted Osho, saying, “Creativity stems from rebellion”.
Talking about the word ‘sanskar’, Irani said that it sounds like a slur now. “But the word ethics seems more acceptable,” she said. The minister suggested that creativity cannot exist without ‘ethics’ in it.
When Prasoon Joshi said that the media spread ‘fake news’ when they reported that there were 400 cuts in Padmaavat, Irani joined in. “The fake news that there were 400 cuts made headlines but the fact that Sanjay Leela Bhansali came out and said that the movie was released uncut never made news,” she said.
While the minister started the conversation in English, she had moved to Hindi within a couple of minutes following Joshi. “Look, Mr Joshi is speaking in our national language, our mother tongue Hindi at an event organised by an English channel. This is freedom,” she said.