Along with the rest of the nations, India too observed June 30th as World Social Media Day. Since June 30, 2010, Mashable launched Social Media Day as a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communications. Today, social media is the heart of global communications and since its inception, Mashable has been using social media to connect between cultures, movements and super-fandom. This year marks the ninth-annual official global celebration.
Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi, while acknowledging that the world of social media has played a key role in democratising our discourse and giving a platform to millions of people around the world to express their views and showcase their creativity, also called upon the youth through the tweets to continue expressing and discussing freely and also congratulate youths for their innovative usage of social media.
On the other hand National Media Coordinator of Congress Radhika Khera, launched an “Unfollow Trolls Challenge” and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to unfollow trollers on Twitter, who abuse, harass and give threats to people on internet. She also nominated Modi and Union Minister Piyush Goyal for the challenge and called upon them to unfollow their abusive trolls.
Khare through her tweet for the social media users to take a pledge on this Social Media Day to keep the virtual world clean and abuse free! Start by nominating two people to unfollow abusive trolls.
While at ground zero, the authorities were quick to block the active social media users who voiced the misdeeds of the government or oppose the government actions. There is a very thin line between the vocal activists voicing the social issues and the rumours mongers for the general public to understand.
According to a recent survey of people between the ages of 18 to 30 years, from 18 countries, it has been found that 90 percent of them use their Smartphones first thing in the morning, often before they get out of bed! Hence, all the fake news and rumours circulating in the social networks presented by addict bloggers in most glamorous composition attracts the huge population, strangely, it spreads faster than genuine information.
The effects of fake news were witnessed in Meghalaya on May 31, where rumours led to a breakdown in Law and Order and imposition of curfew after a gap of 15 years. Next comes the shocking incident of insanity where two youths from Guwahati were beaten to death by an agitated mob at a remote location in Karbi Anglong district on suspicion of being child lifters on June 9,, 2018 night. The district administration and other sections of the society have blamed this on the Social Media for the ‘fake’ news, which have instilled the fear psychosis in the society which resulted to the most unfortunate incident which claimed the lives of the two talented young men. Just a few days back on June 29, three people including a vagabond woman and a vendor from Uttar Pradesh were lynched by mobs in different incidents in Tripura, and four others, including a policeman, were seriously injured when a group of persons mistook them to be child lifters due to the rumours being circulated over social media.
Other states too have encountered such unfortunate incidents due to the social media, or else June 30 is observed as Social Media Day after a multi-platform media and entertainment company – Mashable, started it as a way to recognise and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication, but the rumours mongers are making full use of social media for destabilizing the Law and Order situation, also fragmenting the society with various phobias which had divided humanity while at the same time casting suspicions around.
Under such circumstances, the global celebration of World Social Media Day by June 30th, 2019, which also marked the first decade of the day, should propose a Theme oriented action for the year, like any other global day, where, the General Assembly of the United Nations does have an annual theme for the day.
Once its theme base, it will be much easier to sensitize the social networks users on the Information Technologies Act, bridging the rural and urban sectors, then only the main motive of the day- global communication can be achieved, at the same time the users can extend their individual services to the world together with the annual theme.