Digvijay Singh demands regulation for social media; blames fake news for riots

He demanded a comprehensive law so that indecent language and spread of communal poison is checked on social media.

New Delhi: A demand to frame a law to regulate fake news and indecent language on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook was made in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said communal riots and societal divide is being created by circulation of fake news on social media. "Studies have shown that fake news is more dangerous than terrorism," he said.

He said lies and indecent language used on Twitter and other social media trigger communal riots and create societal divide. "Many people (tweeting fake news) are followed by big people," he said without naming anyone.

He demanded a comprehensive law so that indecent language and spread of communal poison is checked on social media.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the issue raised was important but there is a need to evolve a consensus else there will be allegations of trampling freedom of expression.

N Gokulakrishnan (AIADMK) demanded extending of the 25 percent reservation to natives and locals of a state in all the 48 central universities. He said 25 per cent reservation for locals in all courses in Pondicherry University has not been implemented despite the academic executive council accepting such a move in 2013-14.

Vijay P Sahasrabuddhe (BJP) wanted the government to come out with safety guidelines to check abuse and addiction of online gaming. He said China provides for showing no blood in games,
Australia has banned 220 games and South Korea does not permit some games to be played by children below 16 years.

"It is essential to formulate guidelines for online gaming for safety of children," he said.

Ram Nath Thakur (JD-U) wanted rules to check mushrooming coaching centres. TK Rangarajan (CPM) criticised the move to corporatise production units of Indian Railways.

Indian Railways is looking to hive off its rolling stock and locomotive production units and associated workshops into a new government-owned entity called Indian Railway Rolling Stock Company. Corporatisation will lead to denial of reservation to SC/ST and OBCs as such a provision does not apply to private entities, he said.

Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP) demanded Rs 3000 per month be paid to farmers in Bundelkhand region where crops are being destroyed by cattle. Such crop damage, he said, is not covered by crop insurance.

While Saroj Pandey (BJP) wanted yoga to be included as part of compulsory education, Satyanarayan Jatiya (BJP) wanted service lanes be constructed along highways and safety provisions such as ambulances to be made.

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