Social media plays an integral role in everyone’s lives to the extent that it is taking control of it. Questionable content, especially violent ones do not get regulated adequately, which has frustrated governments of many countries in 4 continents. This has prompted them to take regulatory steps against social media sites like Facebook, YouTube etcetera in a bid to control them.
During the recent weeks, governments of quite a few countries have proposed laws in order to control the trend of free-speech on the internet that has given voice to a lot of new parties but has consequently allowed quite a few groups to propagate their extremist propaganda. For example, in Australia, any technology worker found guilty of instigating violent content through social media could be sent to prison. Similarly, in Britain, if managers of certain companies did not comply with the “duty of care” promised to its users, they were liable for fines. Europe has proposed stricter laws to regulate copyrighted material and also filtering terrorist content.
There have been a lot of speculations about spreading falsehood using these social media sites and Singapore seems to have taken the right direction by bringing up a law that would penalize anyone who is found guilty of it. The activists for internet freedom are quite prevalent in Thailand and the security law there is equivalent to “cyber martial” law which in general is much stricter. Canada is one more country that has decided to be more assertive of its control on social media sites, while they contemplate either financial penalties or regulations to keep them under control.
The US is still not very vocal about introducing new regulatory laws but they have taken steps to deal with the problem. Representatives from major technology companies were forced to attend two hearings with allegations of white nationalism and problems associated with censorships being the hot topics. Thus, the frustration is real and ever-increasing and will not stop unless the social media companies decide to take drastic steps to reform itself.