The day-long National Integration Council (NIC) meeting held on Monday in Delhi focused on having stricter norms for social media services in India. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and was held against the backdrop of Muzzafarnagar communal riots in August. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and leaders of opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj as well as Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani and several union ministers and NIC members.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh referred to the 2012 violence in North East which was fueled by the social media. Demands to control social media come after various social networking sites were used to spread objectionable content and hatred among communities. He stated that the recent communal violence was brought on by fake videos aimed at inciting the feeling of hatred in one community towards the other.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh added: “Earlier social media had been misused to trigger violence against people of the northeast. We must find a way to stop misuse of social media."
He also expressed serious concern over growing incidents of communal violence and stated that the parties should stop exploiting them for political gains, especially with elections round the corner.
"Social media helps youngsters to get new information and new thought. It should be used in ensuring brotherhood and communal harmony. It is necessary to maintain independence of giving opinion and views by people in social media. But at the same time, it is also important that we do not let miscreants and troublemakers to misuse social media. I feel today's meeting will look into the issue of misuse of social media and deliberate on it," he added.