The Internet has become a global medium that plays a big part in bringing social revolution. Recently a YouTuber by the name of Mr. Beast has vowed to plant twenty million trees to celebrate his YouTube subscribers crossing twenty thousand subscribers. Although it may seem unfeasible for a single person to achieve this feat, as a familiar face in social media Mr. Beast reached out to other influencers like him and with this synergetic effort, his website teamtrees.org secured a commitment to plant 6 million trees. Therefore, we can see that the internet crosses all national boundaries and defies regional differences. The video is now viral and many people from different races, religions, and ethnicity have joined this campaign. It will be interesting to see how successful it turns out to be.
But there is another side to the internet that gives rise to rumors, conflicts and misleads users. Information through the internet propagates from one to country to another
uninterrupted without any kind of scrutiny for the veracity of this information. The government of a country is left with a difficult task to curb the spread of such information which is detrimental for the peace of the country. The government in its effort to do so is bringing in new regulations such as localization of data and decryption of encrypted traffic to gain some control.
Recently the government has ordered tech companies to take down offensive content. This is not a new thing. Earlier also Indian courts had done the same thing. But courts do not have authority over another country from where that particular information might be disseminating. One thing that can be done is to make these content unavailable to the Indian viewers rather than wiping it completely from the server. But, with the help of VPN and other browsers a user in India can still view it. This decision came in the backdrop of a complaint filed by Swami Ramdev against some of the companies for purportedly spreading defamatory content. Each of these companies agreed to make this content inaccessible in India but was against a global takedown, arguing that laws vary from country to country. India has no jurisdiction over what citizens of other countries view or not. They argued that this could start a very dangerous trend which could seriously impact free speech on the internet. On the other hand, the argument of the government is also valid which is concerned about the threat posed by content on social media that spreads fake news and hate speech which is a danger to the sovereignty of the nation.
Therefore, there should be a balance from the government when trying to regulate the internet if we want to reap all the benefits out of it. There have been many instances where the internet has demonstrated what a potent tool it could turn out to be. People involved in this rarely do have time or money to review the regulation prevailing in the world. If they are continuously bugged by takedown orders of the government, they will have no other option but to wind up.