The Role Of Unregulated Social Media In Spreading Of Cyber Bulling

Technology is science or knowledge put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools. As defined in Frankenstein Syndrome by Postman, once created it is impossible to intervene in the advancement of technology. “Once the machine is built, we discover, always to our surprise – that it has ideas of its own; that it is quite capable not only of changing our habits but. . . of changing our habits of mind”. Social media fall under the spectrum of such technologies that have developed a mind of their own so they can’t be regulated by an individual or a government.

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Social media is defined as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. it is an undeniable fact that it has a very important influence on our culture, economy and society as a whole. Social media, being an interactive medium, is not only a domain of freedom where individuals express themselves, but is has also helped us break international and cultural borders by bringing like minded people together from all around the world. Although it has brought about many benefits, social media has turned us into one of the most anti social generation. It has replaced the human and emotional connection we once had with a virtual one. The object of this essay is to present research and statistics to argue how the use of unregulated social media has promoted intolerance in the society in three broad categories. Firstly, how unregulated social media has promoted cyber bulling and how bullies have found a new platform to bully other. Secondly the spread of terrorism and extremism through social giving individuals and organization a vast audience to spread hate and intolerance. Lastly, how unregulated has made it easier for manipulate information about someone and spread fake content and information to destroy someone’s reputation.

Cyber bulling or cyber harassment is a form of bulling or harassment that uses electronic means, it is often similar to traditional bullying. Victims of cyber bullying may not know the identity of their bully, or why the bully is targeting them. It includes threats, sexual remarks, rumors and hate speech. The harassment can have wide-reaching effects on the victim, including feeling anxious and depressed, feeling alone and isolated and most importantly feeling suicidal. Cyberbullying can occur at different age levels and in different geographical areas. The most common victims of cyber bulling are teenage students. For example, a survey was conducted in 2004 involving 432 Grade 7 to 9 students from nine junior high schools from middle-class, ethnically diverse communities in Calgary, Canada. The results showed that more than two thirds of students have heard of cyberbullying incidents and about one quarter have been cyberbullied.

The most important tool used by cyberbullies is social media. It provides them with valuable “anonymity”. Because, social media platforms such as facebook, instagram, snapchat are not regulate dor are not monitored it makes it easier for the bullies to approach their victims without revealing their identity. Regulating social media could bring a cange in this. Stricter laws at the government level forcing social media forum to reevaluet their policies and punishment for harransem t could deter the use of social media has a harassment tool. Not only at the government level but action by schools could also help with this. By introducing a stckter policy on harassment or cyerbulling scholls could take up cases of student sbeing bulied on social media an invertiage it further to reveale the indentity of the bully. by regulating media forums can be forces to share the identity with law enforcements. By sharing indentify with law enforcement not only will it ble them to stop the bullies but also help them identify terrorist and extreamist activities.

Terrorism which was once limited by geographical boarders has now found a new to spread its roots in different parts of the world. Unregulated social media has provided terrorist organization s with an opportunity to to recruit people from different countries. Not only that it has given them an opportunity to spread hate and intolerance to a huge amount of people through spreading hateful and extremist content on social media sites which are viewd by million inline. Telegraph reported “Isis has proved fluent in YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, internet memes and other social media. Its posting activity has ramped up during a recent offensive, reaching an all-time high of almost 40, 000 tweets in one day as they marched into the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. ” Its easier of terrorist organization to access information of individuals who they think might turn out to be a valuable assets and that information makes it that much easier fot them to recruit that person.

The use of social media by terrorist organizations is not limited to recruitment activities but, they also use it as platform to express their point of view and manipulate information to increase sympathy and brainwash people for their so called cause. The strategy of manipulating information in not exclusive to terrorists. Many people and organization have used this method to attack or discredit certain famous individual. fake news has become more of a weapon. Social media is a platform for free expression without any oversight. beacuse people have a right to free speech they can post or share anyting related to anyone without any repercutions. There is no filter to monitor fake news and misinformation. In a blink of an eye that post will be shared a thousand time and viewed by millions. A major academy at MIT found that fake news travels faster than truth. The rate of retweets for fake news was higher, even when researchers controlled for a variety of factors such as the age of the tweeter and the number of followers. “False political news reached more than 20, 000 people nearly three times faster than all other types of false news reached 10, 000 people, ” the study said.

Fake news can distort people’s beliefs even after being debunked. For example, repeated over and over, a story such as the one about the Pope endorsing Trump can create a glow around a political candidate that persists long after the story is exposed as fake. This method is not only employed by people but also agencies to medel with electoral process of other countries. The controvertial role of Facebook was exposed when reports of Russia influence on ameriacan election came out.

Despite everything there are people who still want to see social media as an independent forum with no regulations. It’s a believe of some people that regulating social media would cause more problems then it solve. Many question will arise if social media is regulated such as who will decide the regulation? What will happen to the freedom of sppech? Who will decide the punishments and who will define the boundries of regulation? The populatity of social media is based on the freedom of speech. And regulating social media might just kill the best part of it. But it is important to understand that regulation doesn’t affect free speech. People will still be able to express themselves without compromising the integrity of others.

15 April 2020

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