Government Gets its Own Social Media Wing to Counter Online Campaigns

The government today approved a new social media wing to counter campaigns that have gone viral online, whether on the issue of allegations of corruption and scams, issues regarding women security especially after the Delhi gang-rape or policy paralysis.

“It’s not just about offering counter narrative. There are two worlds now – the physical world and the virtual world. The government wants to make its presence larger in the digital world,” Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Manish Tewari told NDTV.

The new social media wing will be a part of the I&B Ministry. According to sources, it will collate information from all the different departments of the government and regulate such official content. Mr Tewari made it clear that the new wing won’t monitor or censor social media. “With all due regards, the Internet is the largest space in experiments that’s completely ungoverned. But it is also most democratic, so we wanted an institutional response,” he said.

The wing is expected to respond to trends and campaign in the new media by countering information, an attempt to lift the government’s flagging image ahead of next year’s elections amid an upsurge of negative reports and criticism.

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