ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

What ails social media?

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social-media.jpgSocial media sprung upon us, all too suddenly. Before we could catch a breath, we were sucked into the world of facebook, twitter and whatsapp. The orthodox news media lost credibility over the years with monopolized biased reporting influenced by economic factors. If you pay for ads, we will say/print what you want. It was as if the consumers’ views didn’t matter at all. If you read/saw news that you knew to a blatant lie, you could do nothing to vent the anger. You just had to live with it.

Here is where social media came in. It gave people that medium to vent. The consumers became the news producers. Everyone was a reporter. It became platform for truth to be said. It was hailed as the voice of silent majority. People with big money didn’t have the hold on news anymore. It was liberation. One could express freely without fear.

But the bubble has started to burst. Paid accounts/pages on social media have paved way for big money to sneak in. Most of the news you see originates from Pages/Accounts, which are paid for. They are so many of them and the flooding continues. People see, people share. And thus the biased stories spread.

Reliability of news on social media is another issue. It is very easy to fake a story without major repercussions. And people do take advantage of this fact. Character assassination is common. Orthodox media lost credibility owing to propaganda stories it started running. Same is happening with social media. Paid accounts have taken the steam off liberation. We are nearing the stage of mean reversal.

Orthodox media lost touch with grass root reality. It became a rant from AC studios, mouthing propaganda. Social media is also going the same way. Paid for news, blasted to millions of people. On macro level, social media has lost touch with reality too. It has broadened the spectrum a bit. Instead of AC studios, it is run from AC rooms.

Social media was hailed as a medium to speak freely. This has also faded. People are so afraid to be lambasted on their views that they go by majoritarian view. They post what they feel people will like. They do not post what they fear will get hate comments. And hence went away the freedom.

A novel experiment has gone astray. My optimism says another one will spring up soon.

Written by arpitgarg

April 14, 2016 at 7:02 pm

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