Impact of social media

The polarisation of society is not a new phenomenon. What social media is doing now was done in previous eras and centuries by divisive forces such as race, colonialism, religion and political ideologies. The only difference is that social media’s reach is wide and its real-time dissemination of information creates instant feedback loops. When we think of remedies to check social media’s deleterious impact of the society, we will have to reckon with a catch-22 situation. The Internet’s strength is its openness and democratic architecture where prince and pauper have the same rights to create content but without any concomitant responsibility to exercise self-restraint.

The Internet is not a self-regulating platform and its users are not constrained in any way except the law of the land where they live which will step in only in the case of serious wrongdoings.

The only probable solution to end the misuse of the social media is external regulation, which if applied will kill the Internet as we know it. Till the time global cooperation finds a way to balance the Internet’s democratic ethos with user responsibility, we will have to depend on conscientious behaviour to keep the civility of online conversations (OpEd page, ‘Yes, No, It’s complicated’, December 7).

V.N. Mukundarajan,


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 12:45:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/impact-of-social-media/article25693512.ece

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