DailyPost 2110

The users of Twitter are known as Twitterati. They merge into a bigger social media crowd in variety of ways. The echo chambers are created for purposes well known by now. What is important is the dependence on this tool and why? This microblogging site gained prominence in making you reach unimaginable chunks of audience, Indian and global, through tweets. The pre-eminence of tweets as a mode of communication does not need any explanation now. Tweets connects you to your audience directly and instantaneously in an extremely effective, cogent and straight manner. The direct dissemination has its own impact and that is the reason why from electronic and other media pick up their stories from here. Is Twitter dependent on the Twitterati for its existence or over a period of time has it gone the other way round of late.

How did the world finally get converged in the microcosm of Twitter or at the maximum, the social media platforms? Can our thoughts and agenda be known only through these channels? Has social media strategy become our strategy of life? Is there no other medium which challenge Twitter and can create a public opinion of that nature people aspire of? The crux of matter can be very easily be understood by an old adage; ”Face the world or Facebook.” This is getting accentuated with every passing day. The easy way to stardom or facilitation to achieve goals by this medium has always been demonstrated. We have seen stars and perceptions being made and broken by the Twitter / social media.

These yield bountiful results. When Twitter and other social media platforms where growing like wildfire, the governments and influencers around world watched. The sale price of WhatsApp would have given you a fair idea of its potential and influence, when it was sold to Facebook. It has become a behemoth since them. It was left to self-regulation because of lack of knowledge, there is hardly anything that can regulated to the satisfaction of any democracy. The dependence is full and complete. Competing platforms to social media have failed the world over. People have realized that they have to fall back on Twitter etc. to achieve their goals. If you ride a tiger, beyond a point it would ride you for sure. Twitter has decided on heads of government on its whims and fancies and so far there has no indication of anybody been able to control it.

Unassailable power of data and reach is what we are witnessing for the first time in human history, way beyond governments can think and control. They don’t have any better way to reach out for anything; good, bad or the ugly. They can declare their opaque policies as supreme; the governments are trying to put the noose but that does seem to happen. The Cambridge Analytica / Facebook saga explained it all. Nothing changed. They sit in judgement on the requests of law enforcement and investigative agencies, which are legally mandated and sovereign as far as their work is concerned. Their arguments might not cut some ice, but they have been able to get away with it. Now, they are challenging governments, teaching them of the abuse of power in their hands. The claim to democratically regulate content in the best possible way. The law and procedure are all in question. In some other instance abroad, making public the requests of the government was also judicially scrutinized. The intermediaries have become the owners now.

Sanjay Sahay

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