The Cleanup Act

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Religion, race, caste, creed are sensitive social constructs that exist even today. Social media plays a huge role in breaking down communication barriers, but the same tools can hurt sentiments of people large .recently former mayor of Cape Town referred to a woman as a “professional black” on twitter. When the women spoke about racist treatment in South Africa .She tweeted you are highly respected black professional, don’t try to be black. It demeans you .When she asked to define the term, she replied: people who base their life and purpose around their color.

No sooner than Zille hit the ‘post’ button, angry and indignant internet users began pouring in their replies to leader .The term “professional black” was trending on twitter all day, it has sparked off a rage online. Back in India the major social sites like Facebook, yahoo, Microsoft, Google, BlogSpot etc. have been ordered by Supreme Court to remove any ‘anti religious ‘or’ anti social’ comments in the next two weeks. Though some of the companies claim they have not received any notice, February is their deadline.

Youth says “Regulation should not have any place in society .while writing, there should be maturity and awareness, without compromising on freedom of speech”. As a constitutional  right, youngsters  feel  deeming something as ‘anti social’ and ‘anti-religious’ is subjective and debatable. .Law students said that “self regulation appears as the best way to avoid controversies”. From 2008, India is in line with USA’s freedom policy pertaining to online content. He adds “Besides how on earth can you possibly regulate online traffic these days? The flurry of activity in the virtual space is too much”.

Social media analyst and content managers do agree that monitoring ‘offensive’ content is herculean task. Arvind venkatesh co-founder of social media management firm Reticular says,”Most social sites have filters against objectionable. It is possible to screen languages but how can we plug personal option?”  central of public policy adds,”You cannot treat social media like conventional media and users must have a sense of self regulation”. The battle continues, even as the deadline is nearing to social media’s.


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