The government is identifying ways to nab the menace of social media trolls including mandatory verification of accounts by linking them with official IDs.
“The general perception is that I can remain anonymous in the internet space and say and do things without any fear,” said an official. “However, we need to maintain the balance between an individual’s need for privacy while ensuring we don’t encourage negative things on the internet,’’ added the official.
Trolls and fake news propagators till date remained anonymous and operated with impunity.
“There is a need for some sort of mandatory verification, such as linking accounts to mobile phones and hence verification through a one-time password, like Twitter is already offering to users, or linking it to Aadhaar, the passport or any new foolproof methodology,’’ said a second official.
As per the officials, account verification will not come as a part of intermediary guidelines which the government aims to issue later this year. These guidelines will tighten accountability rules for social media platforms via penalties and jail terms.
“With the upcoming elections, we are working with Indian political parties to verify candidates, elected officials, and relevant party officials whose accounts will be active in the public conversation,” said Twitter.
“To be clear, the parties themselves select the accounts for verification and then we review these accounts to ensure they meet our verification standards.” added Twitter.