- Ideally speaking, any modern technological aids should be welcomed with open arms that are inherently expected to serve the larger good of society. Digital revolution witnessed over the last decade or so on the back of cutting-edge inventions in this fast-evolving field has transformed the way information is made available in real-time in the most unexpected ways. Electronic gadgets like smartphones, laptops, and other devices have hugely altered how we lead our lives. As is the case with any path-breaking developments, there are accompanying demerits too that raise their ugly head compounding the efforts of balancing act expected from a mature individual(s), and in turn advanced societies at large.
PC: Eddey Lucy
- The ubiquitous nature of the social media platforms over the last few years has been no less than groundbreaking vis-à-vis reach, ease, and acceptability amongst the people. Unfortunately, these platforms also provide a fertile ground for nasty elements to let loose on an unsuspecting lot through unsolicited name-calling and vicious comments leaving a bad taste as well as vitiated atmosphere on the digital sphere. One such incident was noticed during the riveting Euro 2020 final leaving behind a distasteful afternote. England’s loss in the final was followed by online racist abuse of three black players who missed penalties in the finals.
- Fortunately, institutions like England Football Association (FA), politicians, royalty, and their clubs stepped up immediately extending unconditional support to the footballers. The toxic nature of social media had one more condemnable episode, but it also showed how valuable quick institutional pushback in the face of hate going viral could be effectively addressed. Justifiably, the FA asked for prosecution of abusers, appropriate legislation, and remedial response from social media companies. It is inevitable to make a comparison as to how the Indian think tank would react despite having many rules governing social media and its functionalities as the latter’s actions on toxic contents are neither quickly addressed nor remains transparent always here.
PC: Global sports
- As such, the GOI’s intent of late to usher in accountability in social media’s working is most welcome. This should be also supplemented by a robust institutional response to social media hate-mongering to quell prevalent insidious trolling. Here, self-proclaimed intermediaries, WhatsApp, or Twitter, or other platforms should own up to weed out awful content without push or nudge from the authorities. For example, an abusive cricket fan receiving a reprimand from the BCCI will have a meaningful impact. Likewise, political parties should leave behind parochial considerations to call out social media nasties who operate at the fringes of politics. Imagine how being publicly scolded by political leaders will have a salutary effect on those internet thugs.
- As is its won’t, our pollical class is always on the lookout to browbeat the opposition ranks and hence, never let go of an opportunity to score a brownie-point keeping in mind the expediency factor. Regardless of the same, a mature democracy like ours should uphold the basic tenet of by the people, of the people, and for the people in the letter as well as in the spirit to offset the increasing confrontationist mode adopted by the tech giants resisting to stave-off the law of the land. The authorities and institutions alongside responsible social media platforms joining hands in the endeavor would go a long way in addressing the menace of racial and prejudiced abuses. Hopefully, something worthwhile will emerge in the coming days.