Nowadays, social media has become a primary medium for expressing the feeling of an individual. The majority of people over the world use social media for a variety of reasons. Things are not limited to just, get connected with friends, chatting, sharing photos & videos, etc. Many organizations, governments, Activists, or any individual also promotes and protests of any kind.
In the modern-day Social media is becoming a new ground for a protest of any kind. We have lots of examples of this from the past, propaganda starts from different social media, and some end up with violence or riots. Additionally, these protest or propaganda are not geographically restricted.
Popular social media Facebook has around 2.5 billion Twitter has over 330 million, Instagram has over 1 billion users. Also, many social media influencers, public figures, celebrities have a good number of followers. A massive following comes with great responsibility.
Recently, singer-actor Rihanna, Activist Greta Thunberg tweets about the farmer’s protest in India. However, none of them belong to the country and no knowledge about the protest. Here we won’t go deeper into the protest conspiracy theory after Greta Thunberg shared “Toolkit” on Twitter. (Many more foreign celebrities tweeted)
What is in “Toolkit”?
The “Toolkit” had the whole blueprint of the protest. Like which influencers will post, when and what to post, the hashtags to trend, and everything a protestor needed. Domestic protests are now getting anti-national foreign power via social media. Concerning thing is anyone can use social media as freedom of speech to spread the planned propaganda.
The “Toolkit” tweet also forces us to think whether celebrity tweets are always genuine from the heart or just a planned script. To counter this propaganda, the Foreign Ministry of India shared a press statement and attached two hashtags. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda
In another instance, this time US election was very unpredictable for both parties. Few days before the oath ceremony of the next US president. We saw violence in the white house, a historical incident for the US people. The whole protest or campaign was encouraged by social media. Later in the US, Twitter had briefly banned accounts of some individuals.
These are just a few examples. If you monitor closely, you will get more. A handful of people are controlling the protest through social media. We cannot deny the power of social media. Any video or pictures go viral within seconds. However, short videos do not give full clarity of the issues.
The power of social media helps people, undoubtedly. But it should have some limitations so that it does not enter into the country’s law/judicial/decisions, etc. Yes, we can use it to know people’s interests/opinions/points of view. Social media is enabling new kinds of protests.
Just think the people of another country are supporting domestic issues. Does it make any sense? But social media is an independent platform where we can share anything we like. Overall, how we react is the real issue.
A tweet by celebrities and public figures (Rihanna, Great Thumburg, etc.) rocked the Indian government and the people. It should not have happened at all.
Be aware of what you are consuming, and don’t depend on the only information available on social media platforms. If you are concern about the issue, try to find more and compare. Choose your influencer correctly.
Social media has become a new tool of protest for every individual. We are in a time where protests first start in social media, and later with the help of some influencers, it converts into violence or riots.