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Social media powerful instrument of democracy: Indian PM

He also said that people should first check when they receive news on social media before forwarding it to others.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 25, 2019, 10.16 PM IST
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PTI
Modi-Bloomberg-
Modi said social media can be used in a positive manner for good governance.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made comparison of social media and the advent of fake news and sensationalism to how the Indian media covered the Kandahar hijack.

At an interactive session in New York following his speech at business forum CEO of Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg, asked Modi: "In a world where social media seems to talk about everything that is going wrong and we know a lot of things are going right.... How do you and other leaders get a good message out when the press says that is not what people want to hear, they want to hear sensationalism and all the bad things...What should a leader do today?... it's a different world..."Modi told Michael Bloomberg that he was surprised as the question was raised by a media baron.

Responding to the question, Modi said, "There was an incident in our country a while ago. One of our planes was hijacked in Kandahar..."

"At that time, TV and electronic media were very young and new. They sensationalised the stories of distressed citizens. This gave courage to the terrorists. They thought there was a lot of pressure on the Indian government so they will do whatever the terrorists want," PM Modi said.

"...The Indian media held a meeting after that and analysed how many mistakes they made, how they can improve them. But I have noticed that slowly, these practices have gone away. There's a lot of competition now," Modi added.

“Social media has given a big power for empowerment. I see social media as a very powerful instrument of democracy, but unfortunately, negative news is being spread in an organised way. It is a good thing that the media has started daily programmes to counter fake news.”

Modi said social media can be used in a positive manner for good governance."I have ordered action based on incidents that catch my eye," he said, citing an incident where he was able to instruct authorities to save lives in a flood-hit area in Gujarat.

When asked how as the head of a government he would like to use it, PM Modi said he was in favour of using the social media as a "good weapon" for good governance and he himself is trying in that direction.

He also said that people should first check when they receive news on social media before forwarding it to others.

"The fashion of forwarding needs to be solved with technology," Modi pointed out.

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