Indian government issues social media guidelines for Government agencies

Amid growing concern that the Indian government will come up with ways to regulate social media, the center has approved and notified two important frameworks that lay down the guidelines to using social media by government agencies.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

These rules do not apply to ordinary citizen,  and are more focused on how government departments and its agencies will communicate with people. The complete framework document can be read here (pdf). However, we have the excerpts for you.

The Good

1. Government might announce policy decisions simultaneously on traditional and social media.

2. All important occasions will be broadcasted using social media

3. All documents seeking public opinion will be posted on social media sites

4. All updates from the website would automatically be updated on social media sites and all traditional communications will publicize the social media presence.

The strategy & the strictures

1. Social media can only be used by the Government to communicate existing Government information and propagate official policy to the public.

2. While the social media tools allow everyone to become a creator, for the official account, content will have to be specified and tailored to the site on which it is being published.

3. Great care must be taken to avoid propagation of unverified facts and frivolous misleading rumours which tend to circulate often through miscreants on social media platforms.

4. Social media should only be one of the components of the overall citizen engagement strategy and government departments must desist from using only social media to communicate with their stakeholders.

5. Initially, the departments may just aim to post information regularly.

6. Ideally, none of the sites should be left more than a week or two without new content.

Will the government, which is clearly not pleased with the fact that it has little control over the social media, soon come out with a policy to regulate the Internet? What are your thoughts?