According to the IT Rules 2021, the government can order social media platforms to take down any content which they determine to be unlawful. This paves the way for unaccountable censorship. The government should be drafting objective principles and guidelines instead of such ad hoc censorship.
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During the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter flagged fake news through fact-checking. But despite these efforts, the U.S. Capitol was attacked, owing to widespread belief in false propaganda and misinformation. India has lessons to learn from this experience.
Voter targeting is enabled by collecting personal data, including online shopping history, likes, shares and comments. The use of such personal information for political messaging can help spread misplaced fears of potential attacks on what people hold dear. Democracies need better privacy laws.