In what can be seen as a positive development in the social media space, ShareChat has taken the step of removing from its website, 50,000 profiles and banned them from posting any further messages on the platform, reports Economic Times. This is a self-regulatory activity though with a little prod from government agencies. The Indian company has claimed that it used a few criteria to evaluate the contents posted by the owners of these profiles.
These were pornographic, violent and fake news kind of content. There were possibly complaints from within the multi-lingual ShareChat community itself that the contents are not decent enough.
ShareChat is a messaging platform where users can exchange texts, images and videos in 14 vernacular languages and there are 35 million users on it. Some of the major languages are Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Odia, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada and Gujarati.
ShareChat went directly to its users to ask them and name and shame the profiles which were in the habit of posting contents which fell in these 3-4 categories. Based on the responses received the profiles were further screened to make sure the feedback was valid and then this decision of banning them was taken.
Internally, there are other tools used by the site to identify and isolate contents which are not only from the above three but include hate speech, spam and impersonation or using someone elseâ€™s name to post content. There are algorithms to search through the site to flag the offending posts. In the case of fake news, they have a more organized way of doing a proper verification before it is confirmed that it is fake before being taken out.
One set of activists see this entire thing as a kind of censorship being forced on such social media platforms by the government in power and donâ€™t want anything by way of criticism to appear on them. The proposed amendments to the IT Act may see further reactions from these activist groups.
At one level. ShareChat is said to have acknowledged the need to regulate contents on all online media platforms and to ensure nothing illegitimate and not conforming to the norms be allowed to be aired.
While this action has been seen from an Indian company, one has to wait and watch what the biggies like Facebook and WhatsApp do.