Thursday, August 6, 2020
Home Lead Story Indian IT Act Silent On Social Media's Manipulative Role

Indian IT Act Silent On Social Media’s Manipulative Role

With a wide array of social media analytics tool available online it is not even difficult to spot the right influencers for their advertising programmes.

If the Cobrapost investigation which revealed that several Bollywood celebrities were willing to pass views of political parties as personal opinion for money shook your conscience, but there is not much that you could do to restrict them from doing so because the relevant Indian law is silent on this matter.

The investigation revealed that more than 30 Indian film and TV industry actors/artistes agreed to spread the propaganda of political parties through their social media accounts for money.

“Taking money for tweeting on behalf of political parties is definitely unethical, but it is not illegal. The Information Technology Act, 2000 is completely silent on this,” Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts, told IANS.

What the investigation unearthed was just the tip of the iceberg. The rise in popularity of social media platforms actually opened up a relatively new advertising economy driven by “influencer marketing”.

social media

Just as social media companies have come up with transparency rules for political ads, they should have similar features for influencers so that people can distinguish between commercial space and personal space. Pixabay

Marketing firm Mediakix estimated that influencer marketing on Instagram alone could reach $2 billion by the end of this year from $1 billion in 2017.

While Instagram has over a billion monthly active users globally, its parent company Facebook has over 2.3 billion monthly active users and over 16 million people log in to Twitter every day. WhatsApp is another powerful platform which has over 200 million users in India.

The kind of reach that these social media platforms have can offer some idea about how big the influencer marketing business could be. Important here to mention is that it is not just celebrities who are the stars in this game.

While celebrities with huge following running into millions on social media are known as macro influencers, even some people with small number of followers can earn big sum of money as influencers. They are known as micro influencers.

With a wide array of social media analytics tool available online it is not even difficult to spot the right influencers for their advertising programmes.

“In the starting, celebrities were used as influencers for brand endorsement and marketing purposes, however, after social media, now everyone is a celebrity and everything is business including politics,” social media expert Anoop Mishra said.

In countries like the US, it is mandatory to put proper disclosure on paid posts. But only a few follow the rules.

whatsapp
With the elections coming, political parties are not complaining much. A top WhatsApp executive recently even warned political parties against abusing its platform.
Pixabay

In India, due to lack of user awareness, it is even more difficult distinguish between a paid post and personal opinion.

With the elections coming, political parties are not complaining much. A top WhatsApp executive recently even warned political parties against abusing its platform.

“More than 10,000 official WhatsApp groups have been created by a leading political party to slam its rivals on social media,” Mishra said.

“Political discourse is going to be impacted by social media influencers. There is no two opinion about it,” Duggal said, adding that the consequences of this can be very serious as social media platforms are being used to create a highly-polarised atmosphere in the country.

Also Read: Socialism is Making a Comeback Among U.S. Democrats
Just as social media companies have come up with transparency rules for political ads, they should have similar features for influencers so that people can distinguish between commercial space and personal space.

“Manipulation of social media platform for personal gain must be brought under the ambit of law without putting barriers on free speech,” Duggal added. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

18,959FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,781FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Inclusivity: A Matter of Survival for Brands

By Puja Gupta Indian men are becoming increasingly self-aware and skin-care is losing its retrograde 'girly' tag. Men are investing in grooming products and going...

Chromotherapy: Heal Physiological, Psychological Imbalances in the Body Through Colours

By Puja Gupta Colours are part of the natural world and they play a major role in a way we feel and react in various...

Helpless, Desperate Pakistani Hindus Convert to Islam to Overcome Troubles

(Editorial Note- The views expressed in this article have been shared from an article published at The New York Times) The lips of Hindus stumbled...

Priyanka Chopra is Being Extra Cautious During Covid Pandemic

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are being extra cautious during the Covid pandemic. Priyanka opened up on how the couple is coping during the global...

Smoking Linked to Higher Risk of Bone Fracture

Smoking has been linked to a higher risk of bone fracture, but researchers have now identified certain lung-related factors -- such as smoking or...

Gajraj Rao: OTT is Playing Good, Important Role for Content-Driven Films

Actor Gajraj Rao feels the web has emerged as an important platform for content-driven shows and films but to get the right impact for...

Microsoft Announces New Platform to Help Indian Firms Return to Work

Microsoft on Thursday announced the general availability of its Power Platform Return to the Workplace solution in India to help organisations prepare for the...

NYC Celebrates Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan Despite Ban on Video Display

By Arul Louis Hindus and their supporters in New York City celebrated the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, ignoring...

Recent Comments