The digital world has taken over us entirely with immense impact. From reading books to paying money, everything is done virtually
Amidst all of the digitalisation, the widespread use of social media should not be underestimated. According to data published by TalkWalker, 97% of Indians who use the internet are active on at least one social networking site which makes it numerically 566 million active social media users in 2018.
Social media is the most popular tool to propagate anything in Indian minds. The extent of the influence caused by social media on the ordinary public is beyond imagination.
How Good Is It?
Well, the humongous influence of social media comes with both good and bad sides. However in present times, its bad influence is more in the limelight.
Social media impact rises exponentially when it comes from the handle of a celebrated person. Like it is said, with great power comes great responsibilities. People with great fame need to be extra cautious with their social media as it is like a flame causing a wildfire.
People follow these public figures blindly and keep a check on each of their social media post. Such an ardent following gets alarming when celebrities start to comment upon some sensitive issues via their social media.
Are Public Figures Responsible?
The interconnection between social media and mainstream media is getting exploited due to the unchecked spread of fake news that creates chaos unnecessarily. Public figures turning into political actors is an alarming situation as the outcome of such an act is anarchy.
While it is the responsibility of every citizen to follow integrity and avoid spreading misinformation, public figures need to be more careful towards the same as they possess the power to adulterate the mind of their followers.
It is seen that any news posted through a celebrity’s account carries much more impact than ordinary ones as they are considered more reliable and authentic. Not only this, but it also unveils their viewpoint which moulds the perspective of the general public.
Considering the same, where fans trust their idol blindly, it comes as the moral responsibility of a public figure to avoid spreading misleading information and be responsible for their comments.
The Real World
However, it is seen that these public figures aren’t that loyal towards their fans and have been very irresponsible with their social media.
They have been using their fan base as a tool to promote propaganda or impose a personal belief. Such behavior is not only creating chaos in the real world but is also making social media toxic.
It has been seen so many times where celebrities have presented a piece of fake news that is blindly accepted by the public. Exemplifying the same, Kiran Bedi, first woman IPS officer shared a fake NASA video through her handle that claimed the sun chanting the religious word- Om. Minutes after she posted the video, it was labeled as fake by netizens and the politician was heavily trolled.
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) January 4, 2020
In another instance, Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan posted a video of UP police beating people and warned people of the brutality shown by the police on Muslim protesters. Soon the video posted was declared misleading as it goes back to the 2013 riots in Bangladesh and the Muslim leader faced a lot of flak for such an act.
Indian police brutality reaches new lows as its pogrom of Muslims in India continues as part of fascist Modi Govt's ethnic cleansing agenda https://t.co/BRI9LRHMX3
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 4, 2020
Whereas, the damage was already done as the post got 2.3K retweets and 6.4K likes and was retweeted multiple times with a lot of hate comments running on Twitter following the same.
Learning from the above piece of information and other such instances, it can be said that the spread of fake news is a serious threat in both the real and virtual world.
The aftermath of such misleading information creates toxicity over the internet and also disrupts personal relations. Therefore, it is high time all of us especially the celebrated personalities be extra cautious and responsible with our social media.
Not only this, the practice of sheep sharing should be strongly condemned and one shouldn’t let social media take over their intelligence.
Image Credits: Google Images
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