European parliamentarians, officials and IT experts have warned that the social media users in India use digital information for political and ideological propaganda.
In a conference moderated by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Markéta Gregorová and broadcast online, the experts warned that digitalization in India comes with challenges for first time internet users who fall for scams and lies.
The session, titled, ‘Taking stock of India’s Information Manipulation Ecosystem’ and organized by the diaspora-led think tank Stichting Story in London, was attended by members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and experts from the UK Home Office and others.
“While digital India is planning to bring more Indian citizens online, first of all internet users are easy to become victims of political and clever lies. We need to take into account the implications they have on how the world’s largest democracy should go digital,” said Markéta Gregorová, a member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on External Investigations into all Democratic Processes in the European Union.
The speakers at the event included Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang, Story London’s Chief Data Analyst Saikat Chatterjee, senior communicator at BOOM Archis Chowdhury, clinical researcher Vignesh Karthik, and public policy expert Vihang Jumle.
They expressed concern about future trends in the Indian information manipulation ecosystem.
“India is in an arms race,” Zhang said, warning that neither the Indian government nor social media platforms have taken enough steps to tackle information manipulation in India.
Saikat Chatterjee maintained that as the EU seeks to work more closely with India, we are investigating the potential of India’s information ecosystem to spread disinformation and hate speech, and its impact on democracy around the world.
Disclaimer: ‘Indian social media users manipulate digital information for political, ideological propaganda’ - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view