Social Media platforms and messaging apps are not just fun platforms. They are increasingly becoming a dangerous platform of networking for people with an anti-social mindset. Take for instance the mass murders committed by school going kids in the recent past years. They had vented on social media and made a video that was circulated.
A white supremacist threatened to shoot at Walmart on Facebook. He posts a countdown and warns people to stay away from Walmart “next week”.
Here is a quote from a website report: A 2016 study found that in nearly 60% of lone-actor terrorist attacks, the person involved produced letters or public statements before the attack that outlined his or her beliefs.
Keeping in view the above-stated facts, is it still wrong if the governments ask social media companies and messaging apps to cooperate?
The Indian government under Narendra Modi has been pushing for strong and strict international rules to be issue to the companies that deal with social media. The problem also lies with the fact that these companies have no quality control as far as content is concerned.
Social media platforms home buyers, sellers, consumers and providers alike. A lucrative option, it is defended by its parent companies. A user should never have to fear what content they are circulating. This is a huge drawback for the government and the security agencies.
This concern was voiced by the Indian government in 2018. Globally governments have to lock horns with messaging platforms and social media platform owners for information.
As recently as early this week, a Thai soldier went rogue over a property dispute. He vented his anger on his Facebook page asking how the rich are justified when they cheat. Can they enjoy that money in hell?
His next action as to kill his commander and a woman, a guard and 12 people in a mall. Fortunately, he was fatally wounded and killed but had he gone underground, his social media would have given some clue. But had the government asked Facebook for details, the latter would have denied information in the name of privacy protection of the user.
The demand for information to be available is not however made from Wikipedia, Mozilla, browsers, OS, and government officials.
The fact is for the governments to work with profit-making corporates a middle way has to be found.