Advertisement
Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com

#SocMed The Fifth Column Is Online

Are Facebook and Twitter controlling your thoughts, behaviour and politics?

#SocMed The Fifth Column Is Online
Illustration by Sajith Kumar
#SocMed The Fifth Column Is Online
outlookindia.com
2018-01-16T17:06:18+05:30

Imagine your virtual self is being held hostage by your favourite uncle. Let’s call him Som. Hold that thought. Now, you don’t mind because Som is cool, popular and well-liked, and could not conceivably put a foot wrong. Som tells you stuff you never knew existed, talks to you about the things you like. In fact, you like them because he’s the one who told you about them in the first place.

Som good? No, Som bad. Or is it all too complicated and you can’t tell?

Lurid visions of thought control aside, researchers have put forward an even scarier question, asking: “Is social media a threat to democracy?” That’s a far cry from the early days of the flat, digitalised world when the Internet was often thought of as a great leveller, and essentially democratic by nature. That initial optimism ebbed over time, and has now given way to a dystopian reading, where the medium is seen to have an internal behaviour with rather dark implications. And everyone is getting played by it, you, me and even Uncle Som.

The question is...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Global Hunger Index Might Not Be Flawless But India Still Needs To Take It As Warning

Global Hunger Index Might Not Be Flawless But India Still Needs To Take It As Warning

The Centre has reacted angrily at the new Global Hunger Index, but experts say it should plug loopholes in the food delivery system.

Didi's 2-Day Goa Trip Not A 'Vacation' As TMC Pitches For 'Gonychi Navi Sakal'

Didi's 2-Day Goa Trip Not A 'Vacation' As TMC Pitches For 'Gonychi Navi Sakal'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit comes as the TMC appoints former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro as a national vice president.

'Suspended' Old Trafford Test Rescheduled To July 2022

'Suspended' Old Trafford Test Rescheduled To July 2022

ECB announced that the game has been moved to Edgbaston and will be part of India's white-ball tour. The match will begin on July 1.

100 Crore Shots: How Modi Govt Scored Its Vaccination Goal In 280 Days

100 Crore Shots: How Modi Govt Scored Its Vaccination Goal In 280 Days

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the feat as 'a journey from anxiety to assurance' that has made India stronger.

Advertisement