FlippED is an ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.
The most-loved social media application, Instagram, is growing in India every day. The photo and video-sharing app has found a place in the hearts of youth and even adults. According to data shared by NapoleonCat, which is a social media management tool, there is a 66% rise in the growth of Instagram.
However, as much as it is loved, the Government of India is trying to regulate it with its New Information Technology Policies 2021. With that said, the question that arises now is whether it should be regulated or not.
So, here I am, along with my fellow blogger friend, to share our opinions about the same.
Blogger Soundarya’s Views
Instagram Should Be Regulated
Social media is a torrent of material, debates, and disputes. In this vast world, where individuals are easily swayed by Instagram’s trending reels, dancing challenges, and face filters, it is technically impossible to anticipate Instagram to be a danger, and it is high time for us to watch and control it.
Although high-quality Instagram content might help you monetise your account and increase your reach, it also has a downside! Not everyone on IG has created accounts to gain money.
Some may have opened it to upload photos and videos, while others to share memes, and yet others might have created it, as absurd as it sounds, to spread judgement, hatred, and violence. These have not only demotivated the youth from posting content but also have pushed others to follow these practices, creating an unsafe and toxic environment for others.
We’ve been seeing ‘celebrities’ on Instagram with millions of followers who give us fitness and cooking hacks, share inspirational stories, and positively influence us. But what happens when an influencer provides bad advice–advice that is damaging, either physically or psychologically?
What if an influencer with no medical experience gives fake and harmful health advice to their followers? What if a young, impressionable influencer encourages youngsters to participate in dangerous actions and harm society by posting sensitive content?
Cases of cyberbullying, body shaming and harassment, and account hacking have substantially escalated in this pandemic. While most of the IG fam faces body issues, financial fraud and sexual grooming, these cases are left unaddressed, unnoticed and unpunished, leaving behind the victims suffering in disgrace.
Instagram gave us freedom of speech and a platform for self-expression. But, in recent years, it has turned out to be harmful rather than free speech. People are advised not to regard what they see and read on the Internet as one hundred percent true– anybody may publish nearly anything, even hazardous advice.
We live in a democratic and free society, and it’s our legal right to access all forms of speech, and being netizens, we should feel safe and secure to post content and ensure that these crimes and offences do not occur on social media platforms. Therefore, it is really necessary for Instagram content to be regulated.
Blogger Palak’s View
Instagram Shouldn’t Be Regulated
When Instagram was launched, it came with certain terms and conditions for its users. Since then, I am confident that many new terms and conditions were introduced and many might have been removed, too.
Their terms and conditions include that users must not post inappropriate and illegal content, the user should be above 13 years of age, the content posted shouldn’t be defamatory, abusive or threatening, one should not engage with Instagram content from a 3rd party application and many more.
I feel that these self-regulatory terms and conditions imposed by Instagram are enough to regulate the content on Instagram. Now, if the government also tries to regulate the content on the platform, it will harm the beauty of the application.
The app, which was once a “social” app, is now turning into an “anti-social” app. If the app becomes regulated, one of the issues that get into the limelight is “privacy”. Regulators might be able to read our messages and what we chose to keep private or share with some.
We are not even guaranteed about the privacy of messages that we send through the app, as LiveMint states, “Instagram, on the other hand, has no encryption for texts sent through its direct messaging feature.”
In case, an account on Instagram tries to impersonate someone and spreads fake news and rumours, Instagram has the option to block and report that person. Also, it has rolled out a new feature where if we block a person, we can automatically block all of his accounts he might make, in advance. Hence, I feel we should let Instagram be self-regulatory, and the government shouldn’t step in.
Image Sources: Google
Sources: Business Standard, Blogger’s own opinions
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