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April 12, 2019 |

For better or worse

With the advent of social networking, many important aspects of life have undergone changes, be it for better or worse. One of these aspects is the change in human relationships, as the new media have dissolved boundaries and obliterated time. With a video call which is child’s play today and available in almost all parts of the world, ordinary people, family members, friends and peers communicate as never before. Staying in touch with the others has become easier. Not only this, people are globally connected, with millions of people sharing events, news, information every second of the day. The horizon of the communication technology has expanded so much that it has become hard for governments, states or any other institutions to control the data flow and information explosion. Where there is use, there is always probability of misuse. Cyber crimes and online frauds are few to mention. Although states and governments from time to time have come up with mechanisms to curb the misuse but social media usage continues to be exempted from traditional methods of control. The laws are still in infancy and so are the enforcement agencies. The potential damage with the misuse of new media and technologies could be gauged from the recent terror attack in New Zealand where the terrorist video streamed live the brutal massacre of 50 Muslims who had assembled in mosques to offer prayers. After the incident, while the country (New Zealand) imposed a ban on semi-automatic weapons, the debate on live streaming events to convey message was also pursued with the same degree of concern. With very little control in the hands of governments or technocrats, the larger responsibility lies with the people or users. However, collective efforts do provide basic remedial mechanism. For instance, on many social media content sharing and networking platforms there are user actions like report abuse or flagging the content as inappropriate or malicious. Only yesterday, malicious content was uploaded on social media with the probable intent of hurting a religious group. In a communal atmosphere such incidents often prove to be trigger to massive unrest and violent outbursts. While the culprit in this case was reported to police, in many cases they may evade action by concealing their identities. In Kashmir we witnessed the furore caused by false rumors about vaccine, which got spread like wild fire on social media. The key control rests with the people as collective efforts only guarantee some immunity against the misuse of new media. If people start unsubscribing violence that comes under the garb of human interest and curiosity, there will be no takers of the content miscreants share.                              

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April 12, 2019 |

For better or worse

              

With the advent of social networking, many important aspects of life have undergone changes, be it for better or worse. One of these aspects is the change in human relationships, as the new media have dissolved boundaries and obliterated time. With a video call which is child’s play today and available in almost all parts of the world, ordinary people, family members, friends and peers communicate as never before. Staying in touch with the others has become easier. Not only this, people are globally connected, with millions of people sharing events, news, information every second of the day. The horizon of the communication technology has expanded so much that it has become hard for governments, states or any other institutions to control the data flow and information explosion. Where there is use, there is always probability of misuse. Cyber crimes and online frauds are few to mention. Although states and governments from time to time have come up with mechanisms to curb the misuse but social media usage continues to be exempted from traditional methods of control. The laws are still in infancy and so are the enforcement agencies. The potential damage with the misuse of new media and technologies could be gauged from the recent terror attack in New Zealand where the terrorist video streamed live the brutal massacre of 50 Muslims who had assembled in mosques to offer prayers. After the incident, while the country (New Zealand) imposed a ban on semi-automatic weapons, the debate on live streaming events to convey message was also pursued with the same degree of concern. With very little control in the hands of governments or technocrats, the larger responsibility lies with the people or users. However, collective efforts do provide basic remedial mechanism. For instance, on many social media content sharing and networking platforms there are user actions like report abuse or flagging the content as inappropriate or malicious. Only yesterday, malicious content was uploaded on social media with the probable intent of hurting a religious group. In a communal atmosphere such incidents often prove to be trigger to massive unrest and violent outbursts. While the culprit in this case was reported to police, in many cases they may evade action by concealing their identities. In Kashmir we witnessed the furore caused by false rumors about vaccine, which got spread like wild fire on social media. The key control rests with the people as collective efforts only guarantee some immunity against the misuse of new media. If people start unsubscribing violence that comes under the garb of human interest and curiosity, there will be no takers of the content miscreants share.                              

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