The potential for digital & social media in India is unmatched from the perspective of creators, platforms, engines, and the audience. To address India’s Social Media Powerhouse, Republic Media Network hosted the first edition of the ‘Social Media Summit’.
The Social Media Summit brought together the best minds from different digital and social media avenues, from Big-Tech to Indian unicorns, from social media stakeholders to voices from the Government, onto a single platform.
The Summit featured a high-powered line-up of eminent speakers through Panels, Fireside Chats, and Keynotes. The Summit kick-started with an off-the-cuff one-one session with Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India and Arnab Goswami, Editor-In-Chief, Republic Media Network, in a freewheeling conversation about regulation, accountability, that video is the new future, and how platforms need to comply with the law of the land under the theme “Bringing the World Closer”.
During the launch of the Social Media Summit, Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Republic Media Network, said, “Over the last 6 months to a year there has been an incredible amount of conversation about social media, its regulations & responsibility. These conversations are not in isolation but linked to the fact that internet penetration, usage, accessibility has grown dramatically over the last decade. When things change, it garners interest across corporate, social and political platforms. When we conceived the idea of the Social Media Summit, it was to ensure that we take two steps back away from our roles as stakeholders & users and look at it as something in which the future of the country is vested. As India’s No. 1 News Network, it gives me immense pleasure to be the first to commence this conversation. The level of discourse, the profile of the panels and the nationalistic outlook of this Summit is going to make it a remarkable event.”
In keeping with the central thought, the sessions of the Summit were broadly divided across the following:
- The Fight Against Fake News
- The Buck Stops with Platforms
- The Social Media Market
- Social Media – Bane or Boon
- What’s Next for Social Media?
“Fake news has emerged as a global topic of concern, and there is a risk that efforts to counter it could lead to censorship, the suppression of critical thinking and other approaches contrary to human rights law”. ‘The Fight Against Fake News’ panel discussed the issue of misinformation and fake news and the way forward to deal with it. It was moderated by Suhel Seth, Managing Partner, Counselling India Pvt. The panel featured Dr Ratan Sharda, Author, Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital Partners, Harish Bijoor, Brand-Guru, and Gaurav Pachnanda, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India.
The ‘Buck Stops with Platforms’ panel deliberated if there is a need to regulate platforms and discuss whether platforms are above accountability. Featuring Anand Ranganathan, Scientist & Author, N.S. Nappinai, Supreme Court Advocate & Founder, Cyber Saathi, Lizzie O’Shea, Digital Rights Activist, Human Rights Lawyer & Writer and Kanchan Gupta, Senior Advisor, Ministry of I&B, Government of India.
Rujuta Diwekar, Nutritionist & Author, addressed the Summit on the impact of the social media influencer phenomena. The Keynote address focused on the potential of change and reached that being an influencer provides and the counterbalancing of this with brand integrations, social responsibility, and being real with the audience under the theme ‘Influencers on Centrestage.’
Social Media has become the new way to do business, gain prominence across industries, and amplify brand potential. ‘The Social Media Market’ Panel deliberated on how equipped Digital India is to deal with this energized growth of social media. Moderated by Karthikeya Tanna, U.S. Immigration Attorney and Political Commentator, the panel featured Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Co-Founder, Food Darzee, Anshoo Sharma, Co-Founder & CEO, magicpin, Garima Khandelwal, Chief Creative Officer, Mullen Lintas and A S Rajgopal, Founder & CEO, MYn.
Social Media has revolutionized the way society operates. Applications today have made life easier and entertaining. But it comes with a flipside – mental health being damaged, fake news being proliferated, trolling become a norm. The panel ‘Social Media: Bane or Boon’ was dedicated to genuinely understanding the conundrum and possibly finding a solution to the baffling new issue the world faces. Featuring Smita Prakash, Editor, ANI, Madhoo, Indian Actor, Sinan Aral, Actor- David Austin Professor, MIT/ Director, MIT IDE/ Founding Partner, Manifest Capital, Author- The Hype Machine, Shefali Vaidya, Author, Speaker, Fellow-Ananta Leadership Program. The panel was moderated by Major Gaurav Arya, Consulting Editor, Defence and Strategic Analyst.
The centrality of social media platforms to the creation and distribution of content will be a defining tenet of the Indian media landscape for the foreseeable future. The fact that these platforms are global and multi-national also implies that a country-specific regulatory framework will have to learn to deal with massive complexity and extra-territorial business forces. Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-Founder & CEO, Koo embodied the glorious potential of the Indian entrepreneurial spirit and his aspirations with respect to Koo’s future in his Keynote address under the theme ‘Future Social Media’.
Social media has emerged as a novel platform distinct from any other way in which people connected in the past. In a fitting conclusion to the Summit, ‘What’s Next for Social Media?’ panel deliberated on the new and emerging challenges with respect to social media platforms. Moderated by Niranjan Narayanaswamy, Executive Editor-News, Republic Media Network, the panel featured Pulkit Agarwal, CEO & Co-Founder, Trell, Ashish Bhasin, CEO APAC &Chairman India, Dentsu, Umang Bedi, Co-Founder, Verse Innovation (Josh &Dailyhunt) and Dr Pawan Duggal, Advocate – Supreme Court of India.