Cyberspace, a lonely world where you are connected to every person (almost every) on the earth. Cyberspace, a homeless companion who pretends to entertain you, inform you and provide you everything at the lowest cost possible or most precisingly, at free of cost. But I need to know, is it really free? I asked one of my intellectual friends about of few days back, the same question, “Is cyberspace or social media really free?” And I heartily appreciate her reply as she said,” yes it requires no money to be paid, just needs an internet connection.” you too, will be amazed on listening what she continued as her reply, “surely an internet connection takes you to the social world free of cost, but the actual cost, nowadays, the users are required to pay to the social sites, is your personal information, which is sold at about 1000 times costlier than the internet pack, their personal liberty and privacy, which is being misused by other users for a number of in human purposes. And still so many high cost payments are required to be paid on such platforms. I again appreciate such intellectual and practical views. Whenever we see, our rights are being exploited, we fearlessly and rightfully knock the door of court. But what is this when we, ourselves, are providing our personal data do some people who in turn, are infringing our right to privacy without our consent. Right to privacy is a fundamental right and all the constitutions of the world which consider it as a fundamental right, were sleeping when it was taken away by some unknown organisation and undefined trollers, before they saw the result being horrible.
The cases of mob lynching, celebrity deaths, presidential rumours, social networking falsities, social experiments, all constitute the rumours and hoaxes being spread on social media like Facebook WhatsApp Twitter etc. The hoaxes of celebrity deaths and some of the social experiments may be regarded as a bit older, but the hoaxes fueling deadly mob attacks in India are not esoteric anymore. The case of Assam where two tourists were killed by mob, accusing them of child lifters, is a result of fake video shared on WhatsApp. Nowadays, almost every person with a smartphone uses WhatsApp and most of them feel proud and consider forwarding such messages as a sensitising activity. They’re like sensitized innocent humans, who lack the capacity to think of the conspiracy and truth behind a message before forwarding it, after all touching of ‘forward button’ takes nothing of a person. But actually, the truth is horrible. The urge of “forwarding the message without hesitation” is abominable, if we think of the results around us. Even though we ignore the cases through social media across the world, Indian cases itself, would be enough to unleash the truth. Few months back, Dr. Raghuram Rajan, former governor of RBI, was being congratulated for making India proud on been appointed as the governor of Bank of England. This fake news was shared about 7000 times on Facebook and Twitter, that most of the popular people like politician and an intellectual author Mr. Shashi Tharoor too, was taken in and latter, he had to apologize for his tweet congratulating Dr. Rajan. But the recent scenario is even more terrible. Such rumours are taking lives of a number of innocents. Besides lynching and defamation, there are still many aspects that are adversely affecting the world through social platforms.
Cyber bullying- a recently designed tool to take revenge online. This is used as an umbrella term to describe kinds of online abuse, defaming reputation, revenge porn etc. Cyber- bullying has become an exclusive issue to social media and online gaming community too. This is considered as the smartest way to take revenge, as the victim is unaware of the person sitting and conspiring the abominable crime. Cyber-bullying is done through a number of ways depending on the kind of revenge to be taken from the victim. This leaves a very bad impact on the mind of victim, especially and mostly girls in their teenage or who have just stepped in their youth. Unsurprisingly, reports say that about 20 million fake accounts have been banned, which constitute about 4% of all Twitter accounts. Crime in the name of religion, child abuse, rape and other sensitive topics, are being initiated and indirectly every user is being involved in it, either as victim or as accused. If the situation will continue as it is, a time will come when such a victim will be one of our loved ones or family members and we, as users, will be an accused as “it takes nothing to forward a message”, right?
No doubt, there are many positive aspects of social media too, but the present scenario shows that the negatives are dominating the positives. If we think of the sensitive aspect of its negative facet, we find that the social media has created a new world, which is virtual, non-existent, and hopefully, will be intolerable in the near future. So on analysing its positive contribution, we should surely try to protect it from our dirty mind. There are lot of informations, updates and entertainment, that it provides, so why not just restrict to these utilities only? Why to explore it in a negative direction? Why to spread dirt online also? If entertainment was not unnecessary routine, I personally feel that there is no use of such platforms. Many countries in the world have banned the use of social media. The best such example is China, one of the developing and a neighbour of India. China has inferred to the use of social media, and still it is showing a remarkable progress, whether it is related to technology, employment or decrease in population. It is in the race of development too and without using any social media. So it is very clear that use of social media does not contribute to the development of a country, especially when the cost of input is reputation and exploitation of right, then we should try to find entertainment and updates from somewhere else. But this would not be easy to ban social media in India, as it has become a culture and an important part of lifestyle of Indians. Putting status while driving, visiting somewhere and even while having dinner or meal, has become a necessary part of indian schedule. When I think of especially people, uploading pictures with an “abnormal” caption would surely succumb to death without Facebook and WhatsApp.
Hence, there is a need to create awareness among people, to use these media wisely and not emotionally. The government should take actions as the situation has already turned life-taking. The government should ask the owner of the social media to update their terms and conditions of use, so that the users with dirty mind, can at least have a fear of being liable to legal action against them if they don’t abide by these rules. For this, there is a need to develop a technology that can detect the illegal and intolerable activities without exploiting the right to privacy of the users. But it will be a bit time-taking process and until then, it can only be advised to the users that they should use the social media wisely and try to exploit the best out of it, rather than getting involved in unnecessary crimes and pushing an another user or even a loved one into the gutter of being a victim.