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Free speech on social media calls for regulations

Published: Wed 11 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 Sep 2019, 10:40 PM

This refers to the column Internet does not give you the right to free speech (KT, Sept 11). A thin line exists between freedom of speech and hate speech. And crossing it has a detrimental effect on society. The problem is pointing out exactly where the line exists. Freedom of speech means voicing views without restrictions while hate speech is to abuse, troll and insult others. Saying things about people in a derogative manner can cause irreparable damage and mental agony.
The internet has radically enhanced our ability to access, archive and share information with minimal barriers. But the hate speech, lurid threats, insults and mud-slinging have been damaging the very essence of freedom of speech online. The internet can prove to be a boon to express people's voices if certain things are kept in mind. Trolling, using insulting words, obscenity and defamatory statements should be prohibited.
The emergence of social media has changed the way people communicate offering a truly democratic culture with equal participation and interactivity. But there ought to be some rules and regulations.
- Jayashree Kulkarni, Abu Dhabi

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