Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp have changed the manner in which users consume content and communicate with each other, but the social media firms need to be mindful of "certain dos and don'ts" and guard against any misuse of their platforms, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Speaking at the CII Big Picture Summit, Prasad said that social media platforms' large focus on India underscored the sheer size and opportunities presented by the market.
"Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsAap are coming to India not only because they are giving some service. India offers a robust market, by its sheer size. I always say, come do business but remember certain dos and don'ts...you must follow," Prasad said.
The minister said that social media firms should also guard against any potential misuse of their platforms. In particular, these "public platforms" must not be misused by those with wrong intentions for the purpose of exploitation and denigration of others, he said.
Outlining India's rising digital clout on the back of its large smartphone user base, strong IT outsourcing industry, electronic manufacturing capabilities and biometric programme Aadhaar, the minister asserted that the country will never barter its digital sovereignty and is, in fact, bringing a strong data protection law to safeguard its digital information.
The right of accessing the Internet is "not negotiable" and if the Internet is designed for common good, it should be safe and secure, he added.