“For as long as weddings and divorces are happening on Facebook; my business is running” – Mark Zukerberg
“Since last three years a lot has got changed behind the curtain of online social media industry. It had started with the rise of Egypt’s Spring Revolution which had used Twitter and Facebook as primary weapon of mass mobilization. That was the first moment when tyrants had realized the power of freedom on internet. That was the origin of debate over the net neutrality.
These debates smudged the very definitions of ethics and morality of freedom. Government and tyrants alleged that evil forces are creating propaganda by pushing systematically crafted lies. Hence they advocated that internet freedom must be regulated. Civil Societies defended that even if the freedom is abused it must not be smacked. These people unions defended freedom with an argument that gradually a social conscience will rise and people will get mature enough to treat freedom with responsibility but right to freedom must not be withdrawn. Tyrants kept on questing the potential threat to peace and harmony while civil bodies kept on asking who will supervise the supervisors or the supervisors of supervisors? These questions has never got any answers but the freedom of internet has got toxically adulterated.
Watermarked profile pictures in support of LGBT rights was the declaration of open war between the freedom fighters and tyrants of internet. Facebook sided with the tyrant dumping its users and holy book of social media behind. For the first time platform (itself) has participated in a public discourse. It was like the stage, microphones, dais and speakers become the participant in a public debate. Ocean become party to one side of warring battalions. It was like airplane has become the airhostess to serve the passengers. Watermarked profile to exhibit solidarity with victims of France attack, celebrating Indian leaders meeting with Facebook top boss has become the open violations of influencing public discourse by using might of being the platform. Imagine you’re barely winning the boxing match against a mighty opponent but suddenly referee punches you on the nose. In the gruel of victory no one cared to question the act of referee all hailed for the winners until curtain drop.
In the beginning of second decade of twenty first century, status updates, photo-sharing and other feeds on Facebook was equally visible to every user in network but the new algorithm has marred this freedom. Any user can testify that sharing feeds of personal stuff like birthday, wedding anniversaries, travelogues and graduation stories get more traction than sharing feeds related to political, social or business. While experts may defend it citing business interest of Facebook Inc.; I see Facebook as algorithm pirate. It is exactly like the pirates of ocean voyage few hundred years ago or the present Somalian or Caribbean pirates’ sea routes. Like internet is fab today, cross-oceanic travel was the fab few centuries ago where pirates and tyrants had shaken hands to loot public assets.
Gross accumulator of logics and trend, WhatsApp appears absolutely benevolent from the surface. As they claim they don’t sell ads what they hide is the fact they read, sensitize and divert public trends and discourse. One can often notice a certain type of post (normally a joke or rumour pertaining to any public event) reaches to every mobile in almost no time. This is not possible without manufactured acceleration; the origin and the first ring of the WhatsApp feed front is inflicted by non-human tool i.e. codes that can viral the feeds on WhatsApp platform. You’re bound to disagree here as much I am bound to disagree with you.
The plus one button of Google Plus is one of the revolutionary invention of internet industry. The search engine giant has got extremely powerful tool to get inputs from the user to customize the search experience of every user as per their preferences. In one angle it looks way ethical but it is not. It is actually becoming the nanny tales which turns the story as it pleases the kid. It’s like my search results for a certain syntax are different than your search results for the same syntax. It’s like you will get more of hate feeds about (say Narendra Modi) a leader if your search history says you’re Anti-BJP and for the same syntax I will get more pro-government feeds if my search history predicts I am avid lover of Modi regime. It’s is like if an Italian born Jews and Australian born Buddhist searches the ‘Definition of My God’ those close to ten million links in point two-two seconds will not be identical. It’s like defining taste of sugar to blind and deaf differently by making sure that they continue to believe what we have defined for them is the stone fact.
The most delusional stage for the stardom myriads. The nostalgia of fan-following has forced us to believe that tweeting has nothing to do with birds and sky but it’s all about internet and hastags. If we consider internet as religion than twitter must be declared as the Mecca of this religion. Inventions like hastags, trending list and algorithm of sponsored trending has given the ultimate power to one who can bid highest price for those trending hastags… everything else falls behind. The way Reliance Geo launch has stormed the Twitter globally; the way Bollywood retweeted one hashtag #CelebratingJio; it leaves no scope NOT to believe that JiskiLathiUskiBhains (Buffalo belongs to the one who has the stick)
After a brief breath of freedom that technology had provided; we are square back to the seizure of tyrannies. Like in the film Gladiator; Emperor ensured that people enjoys the game of bloodbath while looting public money. Or much like Indian Democracy arranged Indo-Pak Cricket match whenever loot happens we have got Social Media to keep us busy in emotional drama of sharing wedding, divorce, broken-heart newsfeeds and keep water-marking profile pictures to show that you care which helps tyrants measure your emotions; barcode it and put it on sale.
"पंखों को रख के गिरवी आसमान का सौदा कर लिया
एक रिन्द नें फिर जहन में परिंदा जिन्दा कर लिया।"