From my Notebook: Pointers for UPSC Essay on Social Media

UPSC Essay on Social Media
UPSC Essay on Social Media

Social Media is one of the most probable topics for UPSC Essay these days. It has grown so big that it is now challenging the credibility of the mainstream media which often rides on social media for content. Even the governance is now being delivered through social media. So it is a high-probability topic and you must prepare for UPSC Essay on Social Media. I am reproducing my notes on this so that you can use the points to form your own essay on social media.

  • User base in India
    • Facebook 140 million
    • Youtube 60 million
    • Twitter 25 million
  • Examples of Use of Social Media
    • India Against Corruption movement
    • Nirbhaya Protests
    • Exodus of North-East migrants from Bangalore
    • Burhan Wani protests in Kashmir
    • Muzaffarnagar Riots
    • Mehdi Biswas, online ISIS propaganda on Twitter
    • #BlackLivesMatter
    • Arab Spring
  • New Media Phenomenon: Traditional media riding on social media which is giving the latter more visibility
  • Western Experience
    • Push Pull and Engage policy by government agencies
      • Push: disseminate information
      • Pull: Silently observe activity and obtain information
      • Engage: Two way communication with citizens
    • E.g. Boston Bombings 2013: Boston Police used social media to combat rumour and panic
  • Misuse of Social Media
    • Fake news, terrorist recruitment, hatred, propaganda, misinformation, organizing subversive events, DIY terror training, inspire lone wolf attacks, demonize, ridicule, bullying, harassment etc.
  • How Government Agency can utilize SM
    • predict behaviour, analyze sentiments, gauge moods, enhance preparedness, gather actionable intelligence, isolate rogue influencer
    • Engage citizens, disseminate information, build trust, faster service delivery, efficiency, increased reach, etc.
  • Data from National Investigating Agency (NIA)
    • Unlike 2001-10 period, the current recruits to terror modules are highly educated and tech savvy. This is worrisome as education seems ineffective against radicalization
  • India’s Preparedness
    • Dedicated watch over recruitment and radicalization
    • Preventive detention
    • Building counter-narrative on social media
    • Training youths to engage in constructive work, providing self employment
    • Confidence building measures
    • International co-operation
  • Legal Challenges
    • IT Act is too unequipped, blunt and pervasive
    • Victimization of Internet Service Providers: shooting the messenger
    • Need legal frameworks to deal with emergent challenges of fake news, etc.
    • Instead of 48-hour timeline for blocking webpages, the action taken should be more prompt (realtime redressal)
    • complications arising out of major websites being based in foreign nations
  • National Cyber Security Policy needs revision
  • National Social Media Policy should be framed
  • Standard Operating Procedures should be laid out to deal with various situations.

I hope this series of articles is helpful to you in preparing your UPSC Essay paper. This paper can be really scoring if you work hard on it and use your existing base of knowledge combined with your writing skill.

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