Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Before you Repost

It has been a season of uprisings. The Arab uprising, capture wall street, and we also had our share in India with the Lokpal drama. It is a pity that the world has entered into another economic crisis, thanks to Euro zone, this time. There is an upsurge in the number of disgruntled average Indian citizen, thanks to the rising fuel prices, rising food inflation and a falling Indian rupee. Industrialists are complaining about an indecisive Government, and Mamata Banerjee is complaining about a Government that overlooks her suggestions during the decision making process. Bottom line, no one is happy !!!

The Indian citizen has always been very irate against his Government, since time immemorial. The discussions that were confined once confined to tea shops and hotels, have now gone online. The intrusive growth of social media have been instrumental in fuelling the anger and rage among people. Internet hooliganism is on the rise, and people seem to vent their anger from across their computer screen. Well it is gratifying to know that the number of computer literates in the country is rising faster than our expected GDP. On the other hand, it is equally disturbing to know that social networking sites like facebook are no longer meant to catch up with friends. These sites have transmogrified into a potent weapon for spreading false propaganda. The success of "Kolaveri", an internet video making the headlines and ensuing discussions on the news channels shows the significance of internet as a means of communication (of course, media is desperate for something to report, at least 'Kolaveri' makes better reading than what Sunny Leone does at big boss !!!)

An upsurge in misinformation campaigns being carried out via social media, is indeed alarming. People post and repost articles showing list of swiss bank account holders, documentary evidence against the Gandhi family (supposedly from Subramanian Swamy), and the list can go on and on. I am baffled at times by the such irresponsible action of some of my friends, whom I deem are people with a minimal common sense. A point in contention here is,if you have so much documentary evidence against anyone, you can go to any court in this country and file a law suit. The odds of you chancing up on an anti-congress judge is very high in this country, considering multi polar political scenario in the country. If some guy in FB is having a list with the swiss bank account holder details, he can walk directly to all media offices, and hand it over. Odds are someone would publish the news, after verifying the authenticity of the same. After all, they are desperate for some sensational news. Well, there in lies the crux of the problem. Anyone can publish any false information in facebook, and if the topic is emotive, and politically biased, often it ends up going viral.

I should add a few lines here on Lokpal drama too. I appreciate the way, social media was used tactfully to organize such a successful campaign. I stand against corruption, and the introduction of Lokpal bill. However, during Anna's fast during the latter half of this year, I was amused to see people supporting the Jan Lokpal bill, without knowing, what the bill is all about. I wonder, "Why do I believe in God, when I don't know, whether he exists or not?". However, me believing in God does not bring political unrest to the country.

The next time, before you repost anything on facebook or  forward a mail making tall claims, do visit http://www.hoax-slayer.com/. At least you would know, the veracity of whatever you are posting. When it comes to political issues or issues regarding Governance, you can Government websites, or google for the authentic version of any Policy document or bills tabled in Parliament. It would be for the greater good, if you are aware of what you are supporting for !!!