SAUD AL RASHED WRITES – Social media is a relatively new phenomenon, and, due to the fact that it is relatively new, it is not very clear how it should be handled. The matter is complicated by the fact that social media platforms are evolving every day -and sometimes things can go very wrong.
Today, information is capable of reaching people instantaneously, as news of events happening in one part of the globe quickly spread to the other side of the globe. As a result, people are able to stay informed, even to some extent in countries or regions where the authorities have the tendency to exercise strict control over mass media platforms. In many ways, social media has changed interactions within the community.
Yet in spite of the positive contributions that social media has had in the world, a lot of issues arise from the use of social media that need to be addressed, lest they lead to total destruction of the fabric that holds society together.
India is one of the countries that has been hit by the social media craze. There is a significant presence of Facebook and Twitter in the country. Due to the enormous population, an abundance of information is being exchanged among the people. In India, social media has been effective in propagating hate along religious lines. In 2012, when images of earthquake victims emerged online, it was shameful that these images formed the foundation for attacks on individuals of different religious backgrounds. It is incredibly important for authorities to adopt measures to ensure that the values of the country are not lost as a result of hate being propagated through social media misuse.
While some countries have taken the relatively easy route of dictating what citizens need to do and those things that they must not do on social media through a raft of laws and regulations, this approach may not provide the best results in the long run. In a country that is as large and socially diverse as India, conducting public awareness campaigns and informing the people about the need to use social media carefully is imperative. In the modern world, making people understand the essence of working in a productive manner is likely to be much more beneficial than using force or the threat of force. While this may take time and consume significant resources, the results are likely to be effective.
India should not wait for these negative trends before they take action. It is necessary that authorities start engaging with the public as early as possible to avoid catastrophic situations that may not be in the country’s best interest.