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Would An Arrest Or A Ban On Social Networking Sites Really Serve The Purpose?

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By Neha Shetty:

The very thought of a ban would have blown the minds of millions of social networking website users. Well, the pace at which social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, etc. are gaining recognition and hype, a ban on them would be an invitation to a rebellion, wouldn’t it? Recently, the cases of Facebook arrests have formed the core of news bulletins which raises the question as to whether such websites should be banned.

ban on social media sites

But do think about it. Is this the only way out? Will a ban or arrest really serve the purpose? The question cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It would be unfair to take a biased decision. Social networking sites are like a medium of spreading ideas and opinions and they indirectly enhance our constitutional right of ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression’.

Like other communication mediums, these sites act as channels for building relations. On a personal level these sites act as messengers. Another brilliant use can be in the form of study groups. Creating groups for discussions, posting doubts and questions and discussing them online with teachers in these groups would be a brilliant idea.

On a broader scale, these sites can be used to contribute towards the task of nation building. Recently many groups were created on Twitter and Facebook which brought the nation together against corruption and to support the Lokpal Bill. Crucial social subjects can be communicated to the active segments of the society and help as an eye-opener for the many indifferent sectors. Social Networking sites are a source of recent updates, a weapon for national issues and a pigeon to send messages to our near and dear ones. It can simultaneously be a great source of fun and knowledge.

Instead of imposing a ban, it would be better if users become aware of its use in an accurate and meaningful way. Facebook, Twitter, etc. should be used productively to encourage and enlighten people. Users should avoid making offensive remarks on such sites. It would always be better to have parental guidance when kids use social networking websites. As a substitute for avoiding interaction and socializing through such sites, a boost should be given to their beneficial usage. If such measures are actively employed I don’t think there would be any need to ban them. Also there would be no need to involve Section 66A of Information Technology Act of 2000.

Privacy policies, usage pre-requisites and punishments should be defined more clearly. An arrest or a ban does not prove to be a great solution. It may create an anxiety among the users of such websites. It may suppress the voice of India towards various crucial issues and may be a hurdle in the creation of an ideal India. Social networking sites connect people irrespective of the distances. It is a device to keep in touch with one’s family, do professional networking, build business and personal contacts, accelerate the task of country- building and staying well-versed about the world.

It’s just that people should be made aware of the warranted usage of cyberspace. If we are aware of the rules and regulations and the safe usage of social networking sites, why shouldn’t we be a part of them? So friends, I encourage you to bring out your opinions on this issue and try to answer whether an arrest or ban is a valid solution for the improper usage of such websites.

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  1. Charumati Haran

    A ban may not be an effective policy but there is no denying that the many beneficial uses of social networking sites are only one side of the coin. It is in creating policies to regulate the unpleasant avenues that lawmakers face a real challenge.

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        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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