Social Media’s Role In Strengthening And As A Threat To Democracy

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Social Media
  • QASIM KHAN

Social media also called ‘New Media’ or ‘People’s Media has become one of the most integral part of everyday human lives. The modern life seems to be incomplete without Facebook, WhatsApp, linked in, Instagram, Twitter etc. undoubtedly, it has brought the whole world closer. The world today it seems to be a contracted place, due credit should be given to the social media.

One of the most important contributions that this social media has made is that it has actually strengthened the democracies all over the world and the process still continues. One of the striking example as a proof to the above illustration is Arab Spring. It was because of the social media only that a small incident of resentment got converted into a revolution. As a result, the whole Arab world started striving for democracy by throwing away the dictatorial regimes.

Social media has contributed immensely in strengthening the democracy in the sense that it has made the people more aware of their rights. Be it any injustice done to anyone, thousands of people can be mobilised to stand against it within no time. This has been possible only because of social media. It is because of social media only that many social movements have forced the government in power to make social legislation to actually improve the conditions of those who are vulnerable, exploited, oppressed, suppressed and marginalised.

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Nirbhaya movement is one of them. The government before passing any bill can seek the citizen’s approval with the help of social media. Thus functioning of the democracy in a more participative way will result in better enactments based on real needs and not felt needs. Social media can also act as a succour and support to the fourth pillar of democracy.

Social media has a dark face also. If not handled properly, it can also prove to be a threat to democracy. The growing intolerance in our country among the people of different communities is one of the recent examples of it. Fake and false news, self-professed morality, the communal hatred which spread like a wildfire through social media has resulted in the killings of many from a certain section of the society.

The situation became so grave that the Supreme court itself had to come in front to name these killings as “horrendous mobocracy” and ask the government to make separate legislation to stop such crimes. Thus social media in a way shook the very spirit of democracy.

Thus social media is a boon as well as a bane. The government should make sufficient regulations to reap fruits out of only the brightest side of this ‘ New Media’. Let the dark side of it be submerged somewhere deep in the ocean.

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