Everyone from celebrities to the common public got a big shock when the government announced that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter might face a ban May 26 onwards. Though the ban did not happen, these platforms have been asked to implement the new Information Technology Rules 2021. But we spoke to a few celebrities about their view on the ban, and here’s what they had to say:
Aneesha Madhok: My request to the government of India on behalf of myself and all my fans is to please not ban Instagram. I have finally put myself out there and think of all those artists whose only means are social media for their art since cinemas are also closed. We are happy to comply with the rules, but please I hope Instagram is not banned. I’m a Gen-Z who loves her social media for sharing smiles.
Aly Goni: If the ban happened, what good was our smartphones then? People buy these phones mainly to talk over video calls to their families, chat with friends and connect to fans, but if Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp messenger were banned, how are we going to stay connected. Phones will only be used for Google searches and talking.
Anjali Phougat: It would have been challenging to connect with family and friends but if it had happened it would have helped in preventing spams and could have added a few more lines of security. People spam on WhatsApp and anyone can basically send messages if they have your number, and I got spammed on WhatsApp once and I understand the pain. It’s good to follow all the compliance and make each platform safe and user friendly for everyone. The new rules focus on provisions around voluntary verification, a 24-hour time limit for removing content flagged for nudity and requires setting up of a time-bound grievance redressal mechanism
Meera Deosthale: Of course it would have affected me a lot. Firstly, all the fun and a way to catch up on the world through your phone would have been gone. Also, it was a big shocker for content creators on Instagram. Talking about me, I love Instagram and WhatsApp has become such an easy way for all of us to exchange messages with friends or for work. It would have felt like a technology step back. This ban could have taken us back to life 6-7 years ago social media-wise.
Nivedita Basu: I think this whole Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter ban looked like a sham job. For one we’re sitting in across the world in the pandemic inside, and you want to just take away the basic communication thing which we have with our friends across the world, so if you have an issue with some particular thing or people, you can take them up individually but instead just putting up a blanket ban, that you want to just ban these apps because of xyz are a little lame. These are very common and basic thing in our life to communicate, but taking away these I don’t think it would have gone down really well.
Nikkiey Chawla: Well this is very disturbing and surprising news that the government had made these rules. I feel that the right we have freedom of speech we’re losing that. From the past few years I have seen many kids getting arrested because of posting things on Twitter or Facebook, but yes there is a mistake from our side and the government as well. There should be a balance between our freedom and also not to exploit the rules. I was against the ban. We don’t have work plus we are in the middle of a pandemic, so social media helps us in posting our work through reels, we can be in touch with directors, producers. I would like to say that there should be guidelines as a lot of kids put on the content of nudity, and all, so I feel there should be some filters from the app itself that these things should not be posted.
Sharad Malhotra: Social media of any kind shouldn’t be banned especially in the lockdown. People are making a career out of it. It is a source of information and entertainment both. If used wisely all of it is a boon. I value social media, but I am not obsessed with it. It enables to connect with the fans on a regular basis.