FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: RIGHTS, RESTRICTIONS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
The use of social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others to read and share news and information has increased due to advancements in technology. A social network can be created in the virtual world using a variety of online communication channels using social media, which is a mobile and web-based technology. People from different parts of the country can access information posted by users from other parts of the world because of social media technology. Freedom of speech is the unrestricted ability of any person to express ideas and seek, receive, and give information through any means, regardless of boundaries. Every citizen in a democratic nation like India has the freedom to use social media to express themselves and spread information. We can upload something to social media, uplink it, comment on it, like it, share it, etc. because we have this freedom. The freedom of expression offered by these social media platforms is complete or unrestricted, but how are we as internet users using it?
The paper examines how the government can balance censorship or regulation of social networking sites and peoples’ freedom of speech and expression. In conclusion, the paper argues for the necessity of reforming the legal framework governing speech regulation on social networking sites in India. It proposes that the government should adopt a more precise and specific definition of hate speech, narrowing down the scope of prohibited content. Additionally, it advocates for the establishment of an independent and transparent regulatory body responsible for overseeing the enforcement of speech regulations on social media platforms.