‘Social media users lack sophistication’

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Yusuf, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    NEW DELHI: Pictures, SMSs, videos and threats of violence — and the special trains to Guwahati were full. This week saw an exodus of people from northeast living in Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities following threats of violence for alleged atrocities against Bangladeshi migrants in the eastern Indian state. Pictures and videos, allegedly those of violence from Assam, were circulated. The police later said they were "doctored".

    Nitin Pai, founder of independent think tank Takshshila Institution says one needs a fresh perspective to understand the new phenomenon of what he calls "radically networked societies". "Once a critical mass of people are connected, they can be mobilized faster and more easily than one can counter-mobilize them. And this is not unique to India. We are just seeing the first expression of it here," says Pai.

    Pai says that the credibility of the source is often linked to the credibility of the message. "Ordinary people might not be trained for sifting through content and looking for attribution. There is a lack of sophistication in a large number of users of social media, who will not necessarily check before they share. That spreads panic," he says.

    Writer and social commentator Santosh Desai feels it is easy to buy into any piece of information that can partly confirm what we believe. "When we have a deep-rooted anxiety and are presented with something plausible, it fans the flames. The more outrageous a piece of gossip, the more credible it becomes," says Desai.

    Rumours often vitiate the atmosphere during times of strife. Half-truths have been used to mobilize social groups even in the 19th century — the story of cartridges greased with pig/cow fat played a key role in the 1857 Sepoy revolt. But now in the age of mobile phones, rumours can spread faster and to a much larger area, carrying a veneer of authenticity in the garb of 'evidence'.

    Faraz Ahmed of Pakistan's Express Tribune lists a whole series of misattributed photographs circulated online in a blog post dated as far back as July 19. It includes inter alia, a picture of a Tibetan protestors running through the streets of Delhi, his body on fire. The original picture appeared in various news agencies. The blog, then, carries a screenshot of a Facebook page with the same picture that labels it as that of a Muslim being burnt in Burma. The picture has over 160 likes and 175 shares at the time the screenshot was taken — certainly by those who had not kept up with the news in the past.

    - TOI Mobile | The Times of India Mobile Site
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    One has to understand as to what causes this type of exhibition of frustrated anger.

    That is the root cause of all the problems that we are currently facing.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Justice Katju is being proved right when he said Indians lack intellect.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Justice Katju has reached senility.

    He praised Mamata Bannerjee as a Messiah from Heaven.

    And now, he is finding her a crazy despot.

    The bloke cannot see beyond his nose!
     
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  6. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    It isn't India or sub-continent specific but with majority across the globe.

    We all love to follow, listen, read, view and believe all that soothes our senses and something to which we have developed our acceptance to over a period of time, and anything otherwise, right or wrong, we confront and fight.

    So when a Pakistani will shout terrorism, and they are also a victim, Indians at large will laugh, but then there is terrorism in Pakistan, like wise, when we shout terrorism, Pakistanis will come up with their conspiracies. That is just one example where most of the Indians will find it extremely difficult to accept the actual and so it will give us an idea how difficult it can be to accept the truth.

    Ideology, religion, politics, national, economics and more differences put us in the divide, and whatever propagates the point of view that we relate the most, we will cling on to it, and there is always a logic with the other, no matter how weak, and if someone is strong in putting across a PoV, the same weak logic can come across as a very strong and convincing argument.

    Take a simple example. A very close friend walks in and tells us a lie, but we are ever ready to believe him without countering him or looking for more concrete proof because for us he is trustworthy.

    A simple question, do we have a neutral bent of mind? If yes, only and only then we will explore every angle and accept the truth no matter how repulsive. else as has happened for long, we can continue living in denials, and accept what we can digest.
     
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  7. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Very true, and that's why forums such as this one exist, which are country, ideology or religion specific. Birds of the same feather flock together.

    However, for some, there is a difference between living in denial or ignorance and knowing the truth yet not accepting it for the sake of a greater cause. That's the cause of nationalism.....if every country accepted the "true", "factual" version of historical events, then nationalism would be dead. The determination to interpret events differently for the greater cause of sustaining national pride is, for example, what makes Britain and India view colonialism from such radically opposite viewpoints, regardless of what the truth may be.

    In a way, we should be thankful for these differences....without them, there would be no DFI. ;)
     
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  8. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Absolutely, and so the author of the article, Kim Arora, needn't complain and play holier than thou and suggest ‘Social media users lack sophistication’. It could be true for her as well, for all we know, because it is extremely rare that there is any in this world who wouldn't have some or the other bias.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This forum would not have flourished but for the fantasies of some of our friends who love showcasing their Guinness Book of Record type of stuff! :pound:
     

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