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Before commenting on social media and how it is using or misusing the freedom of speech, it is essential to understand what freedom of speech actually means. Freedom of speech means the right to express one’s ideas without the fear of government or censorship. Article 19 of the Universal declaration of human rights recognizes the right to freedom of expression as a human right. This implies that every individual has the liberty to express his or her opinions via speeches, writings, print media, art forms or any other means of expression. The Indian constitution also guarantees the freedom of speech to every citizen, but with some restrictions. A citizen of India has full freedom to express his or her thoughts as long as they do not harm the integrity of India or do not pose a security risk.


Today, with the widespread use of internet and social sites like facebook, twitter etc, it has become very easy for every individual to anonymously comment, criticize and display one’s opinion towards any event in the world. On one hand, the exposure and power it vests in the hands of common man is very thrilling but if this power is not used judiciously, it has huge potential to cause controversies. It is very easy to pass sleazy comments on someone when you have hidden your face behind the mask of internet. It is very easy to hurt sentiments today with one single comment, to insult someone with one emoticon or to talk trash about someone irresponsibly. I do not wish to convey that it is the flaw of social media but I feel, it is the users who have misused their exposure.


There is a need of stringent laws restricting the freedom of expression so as to regulate the frenzy going on in the digital world of today. People need to learn to be accountable for the comments/posts/tweets they make on social media. They need to be judicious enough and take care not to add fuel to rumors. There is a need of a clear, visible line because if you have power, you need to show some responsibility too.