A leading Indian politician has described social media as the “largest ungoverned space on Earth”.

Union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari believes social networking sites need some form of universal rules, the PTI agency reports.

He suggested that more digital data is created every two days than there was from the beginning of civilisation until 2003.

Mr Tewari added that governments will need to be adaptable as social media continues to evolve.

“The virtual civilization consolidating itself more with time, the entire nature of the states and counter states, the nature of insurgency, terrorism response … will completely transform itself in front of us,” he was quoted as saying.

“Never before in the history of mankind has there been so much power in the hands of so many people and located at so many places.”

Although he feels digital media needs to be better monitored, enforcing strict regulations is not desirable.

There is no doubt that social media has had a positive impact on businesses in the last few years.

With Facebook boasting more than one billion active monthly users, companies have never had a better opportunity to connect with potential customers.

However, there have been cases where sensitive corporate information has been leaked by careless – or in some cases vindictive – employees, resulting in substantial financial and reputational damage.

As such, it is no surprise that more and more enterprises are introducing social media policies to ensure employees know what they can and cannot do on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

In July 2013, Ananthakrishnan Narayanan, vice-president of Europe at software services and integration firm Tech Mahindra, told computing.co.uk that political parties also need to tighten up their use of social media.

His comments came shortly after prime minister David Cameron made references to the Twitter account of secretary of state for work and pensions Iain Duncan Smith, only to later find out it was in fact a fake.

Indian politician speaks out on social media regulation