AUTOMATED HATE – IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEMESIS OF MANKIND?
Taking the social interactions to digital mode was a giant step in bringing mankind together. Social media was born. It has connected the unconnected, after decades. It recreated school, college, professional and familial relationships beyond our imagination. A multimedia 24/7/365 global community which can communicate in innumerable varieties of combinations and purposes and broadly maintain confidentiality and privacy. It seemed to be a win-win situation. It made the pandemic liveable. It helped remain connected, at a time when this social need was felt the most. Forced to be our restricted physical spaces, we remained sane only because of this medium. No technology can ever remain just a boon.
The fallout of this technology started being felt quite a few years back. The Social Dilemma documentary, has summed it all, brilliantly. Made with the help of personas, who were a part of the social media revolution, it has laid threadbare, the machinations behind, to make every user an addict. The dopamine flow has been craftly calibrated making the user a tool in the hands of the social media companies. Whatever comes free, make you a product. Whatever comes for free, takes away your freedom. Cutting you off from the physical world, it was creating a generation oblivious of the surroundings around. Added to this well pushed ailment by the companies themselves, we had whole propaganda machinery, one of its kind, by its reach and impact, which was being successfully created.
Propaganda started being created based on the psychological state of the user, based of large-scale pernicious research and being provided with the content which could sway them with action. This was large scale misuse of the social media by the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook combine, from US Presidential Elections 2016 to Brexit and God knows what all other such arenas across the globe. As if the personal to the political and becoming digital social zombies was not enough, the other fallouts can send you in a spin. The perfection to which social media was used by ISIS can put the best MNC users to shame. Social media was made their pipeline to recruitment and hence their ranks kept on swelling, even with the large number of Jihadi warriors getting killed.
The genesis of a new brand of self-perpetuating terror has been biggest malaise of social media. You can give whatever name you feel like; insurrection to extreme right-wing expressions of the kind the world has never seen or heard or imagined of. From the lone wolves to the attack on the US Capitol to the mob lynching here, the threads get very neatly connected to the social media. Political parties and even heads of the governments have used it for their nefarious advantage. Lone wolves of the Christchurch type can now be created with barely any effort. Only the venom has to be injected in the social media’s veins. The Social Media Venom Doctors know how to make it happen. The Sulli Deals conspiracy has opened a can of worms. The malaise is much deeper than we could even think of. The depth of the TRADs is ominous, the lingo itself is so difficult to make sense. It is the cipher of the social media age; the raitas, cauliflower, pepe and what not. The community has already crossed all social and human barriers.
EITHER WE LEARN HOW TO REGULATE THE SOCIAL MEDIA, OR ELSE IT WILL SUBSUME US!