The Lies We Feast Upon
Journalism on Social Media
What is journalism?
Journalism is basically the production and subsequent distribution of reports on important issues and the recent events. A journalist first searches for the facts to ensure the authenticity of the report and before publishing, ensures not to hurt public sentiment as well. This report is then, published through various mediums including television, print, radio, and the Internet through Social Media and other platforms.
How has it changed?
Over the years, with the technological advancement, the true spirit of journalism has faded away. Journalism is experiencing considerable changes linked to social, cultural, economic, and technological transformations. Now any person can write about any topic, and connect with millions of users over the internet. The Writers, media reporters, freelancers, now write without thinking about the quality of their content just to target some specific readers. Many times, the authenticity of the report that gets published is left to stray over the ashes. This is because of the reason that to them what they write is correct according to their morals and beliefs.
This new type of journalism has grown into a propaganda which is created deliberately to spread malicious and misinformation via the Social media. This has led to the creation of a lot of social problems and moral outrage among the population, from the neologism of fake news in America to the mob lynching in India and Human rights violations around the world.
The Role of Social Media Platforms
The search engines such as the Google and social media platforms such as the Facebook, Twitter deliver personalized content to users. Algorithms are now replacing the majority of news editors and opinion makers and giving a stiff competition to the existing ones. They are getting more and more refined in learning from user behavior. The creation of artificial intelligence has added only more to increase their efficiency and targeting ability. As nowadays the content has multiplied, hence the social media is primarily focussed on the amount of content and not on the commitment to the quality.
The more people click, share, like or comment on an article, the more likely it is to be served to someone else. And it is not just because it is the best article available on the subject. Also, the audience cannot always figure out the veracity of the news they see on social media. The new creation of filters on the internet and Social media platforms has limited people’s access to information, leading to the political polarization and the spread of fake news. The 2014 Irish Social Journalism Survey published the statistic that 64% of Irish journalists said that information on social media can’t be trusted. Over the world, it has started to slowly create an atmosphere of hatred and fear. Many social media platforms also refuse to take responsibility for the misuse and propagation of this falsehood.
Are there some positive aspects of social media journalism as well?
There is no denying that there exists evil in this world but we must know that in every story the light always overcomes the darkness. Same is the case with social media. Between the years of 2012 and 2017 iterations of the Cision Global Social, Journalism Study show that there was a 12 percent increase in the number of journalists that said they post content to social media platforms daily. Despite its gloomy nature, Social Media is also now providing an opportunistic moment for the journalists to take full advantage of social media tools like the Facebook and YouTube live sessions, Twitter's Periscope, that is available to them, to connect with their readers and listeners all across the globe, without losing the core values of being a journalist and continue to tell stories that resonate the truth to their readers.
In Need Of Government Intervention
What is the government doing?
Without the help of world governments, the future of journalism on social media is still blurry. An individual taking up the issue of the misuse of the Social Media platforms might not prove to be always successful but if the world governments pressurize these media groups then, they definitely have to consider and bring in new technologies and tools to counter the issues that are pre-relevant.
Many countries have now taken up the issue to deal with fake news, malicious content and misuse of the personal data of the users over the social media that create an atmosphere of hatred and fear among the population. This has eventually led to the creation of certain restrictions over the internet. Having being pressurized from the United States and the European Union, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, has taken up this issue seriously and thus now remove any malicious and unscrupulous content within 24 hours and also are now improving their standards to ensure any data leak to a third party.
Is it enough?
With the help of new government regulations that are being set up on the social media groups, it may provide a virtuous platform for the new generation of journalists who are still lost and unknown to the mainstream media and may also provide an unbiased and reliable news to the readers that ensures quality and the core values of a journalist.
Doy you think that your Government is doing enough?
How To Make A Difference
In the 2017 Global Social Journalism Study, 75 percent of journalists described social media as “completely” or “to a large extent” necessary to promote and distribute content. This shows how Social Media has become a necessity for expanding the coverage of daily news. Hence, concrete steps must be taken to ensure the Social Media neutrality.
What more can be done?
Close monitoring of live sessions over the social media also must be taken into place to ensure the content to be appropriate and censored.
Also, the Report option available to the users with which one can claim the content posted to be inappropriate must be taken as an issue of vast amount, and if the claim is proven to be true then the post must immediately be removed.
Moreover, there should be a new department created both in government as well as in media platforms which not only just verifies the news and content which is to be published but also ensures that regulations are being followed while upholding the law over censored and uncensored versions as well.
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© 2018 Abheek Jamwal