Saturday, August 18, 2012

Social Media and the North-East Crisis

This article in the Hoot says that when miscreants misused the social media to spread rumours (about the North-East India crisis) the mainstream media - print and electronic - did nothing to quell it. A protest in Bombay got out of hand with protesters snatching weapons from police and firing them in the air.  

Social media has not matured enough and there are all sorts of people using it to achieve their ends, including corporates. However, it is a potent medium of communication for sending: recycled jokes, sexist observations, wild and biased rumours about communities. But is gagging the social media the option? As has been seen in the banning of bulk SMSes? 

Social media can do a lot of good as the good work done by bloggers like Dina Mehta (cloudburst Mumbai) has shown. However, when it is put to bad use, it can be equally pernicious. 

So who was supposed to rein in the social media? Agreed, most social media practitioners base their arguments on some or the other printed fact or material. Not so the lumpen elements. The rampant use of social media to upset, riot, and disturb peace is what is not pardonable. 

We guess traditional media failed to counter the spread of rumours and only succeeded in raising the fear factor by a degree. They have also not stopped attacking the police, who, in our opinion did a commendable job. We think the traditional media should also do an analysis of social media to point out what is fact and what is rumour, sort of, sifting the chaff from the grain.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here. View my Youtube Channel Page. Read about my novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

No comments: