IT as a branch with technology enmeshed with communication has done yeomen service to elevate human existence to a different level and continues to do the same consistently. We have seen the utility of this technology in our imprisoned life during the two long years of Covid-19. It made our life livable. That every technology is a double-edged sword and the bad actors would use it for their gains, ones we wouldn’t have imagined even in our wildest dreams. But that is a vocation and there are specialized departments and agencies to deal with it. What really puts the spanner in the wheel, is the way the political class has been using information technology. Does it any way help support the development of technology or exponentially change the democratic landscape by infusion of technology.
While understanding technology was never their forte, they have picked up how this tool can be used to the best of their advantage. It is a disservice to democracy and the people, in whose name they swear from morning till evening. Social media has provided them the biggest opportunity of misuse and today political parties and the whole of the political class are putting it into its biggest misuse. Shifting democracy’s goalpost from physical delivery of whatever was promised in the manifesto, the gullible and hapless masses are taken on a journey of multimedia delivery of hopes, fear, desperation and being a savior. Literally, everything starts and ends with the screens you carry in your pokcet, day in day out, but the wretched impact it makes on our physical existence is mindboggling; from lynching to communal clashes and what not.
This the genesis of Political IT. Political IT is the branch of IT technology being vociferously used by political strategists, to political stars, parties to their IT cells, hacking the minds of people mainly through media social enabled tools of propaganda, misinformation, pushing in blatantly customized information, tech savvy, visually pleasing and mentally debilitating content. The amplification capability of social media does rest of the job and the social media in built algorithms helps pushing him deep into echo chambers, believing that is the real world. The bots have been doing their job really well. The pre–Capitol Hill incident had an ongoing precursor in this exercise, ending up into whatever it did. Cambridge Analytica established it in a different way and now it has a variety of hydra heads. Democracy will never be the same again.
We have gone through Sulli Deals, a digital minefield is under creation, the depth of the TRADs gives us the other part of the story, the underbelly operates in a different lingo. Is this IT? Social Media misuse, which political parties call IT, seems to have become a full-time job, more important than anything else a political party does. This IT strength is what political parties flaunt of. Today Elon Musk does not know whether to buy Twitter or not, courtesy fake / bot accounts. What percentage of it would be political and what would be state actors enabled in a billion-dollar question? The recent revelations of the Facebook whistleblower has left the cat amongst the pigeons.* Facebook has for long been in the thick of things. The politicians have learnt the perfect misuse of social media without learning the technology at all. This is their IT. This is a venom with an unknown assembly line, the havoc it does can be seen all around. You end up carrying somebody’s content in your head.
THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF TECHNOLOGY HAS NOT HAPPENED, BUT THE POLITICALIZATION OF TECHNOLOGY HAS!