Social Media Versus Social Science
At the surface level, the algorithmic analogy of Google & Facebook appears very fair but dig deep to know that with both, user loses the freedom of acquiring knowledge without prejudices.
– Jitendra Rajaram
“Arranged Data is called information. Any interpretation of information is called knowledge. This interpretation is subject to individual’s past experience that correlates with this new-found information. Data revolution enables the supremacists with a new kind of power. With data, now they can counterfeit our past experience to conquer our future.
The algorithms of artificial intelligence have pushed us all into a new cage. In the name of safety, we are all brought inside an iron box which may (or may not) keep us alive from attacks, road accidents or terror blasts but inside this iron box we are forced to live with ear piercing noise coming from outside. This noise is called information terrorism. The little box that we all hold in our hand is the tag rope. This tag rope delivers us the illusion of freedom. The social media through which we connect to the world is pushing us to the dark corner of this iron cage even more vehemently.
Since childhood we all have read books with an index page. Made copies with proper table of contents right at beginning pages. Why then these social media sites are not telling us how they index our data? Why Google keeps a certain information on top? Why Facebook shows us few feeds repeatedly while never shows few feeds? Facebooks keeps assembling the information that we may like most. The piece of information in which we will most likely react in the form of comment or likes however Google keeps on sorting a data based on how much google is paid for putting a certain information at the top. There is very basic genetical difference between Facebook and Google. Facebook claims “I know everything including what you want to know hence I deliver without even you ask me to deliver” on the other hand Google claims “I know everything but you have to ask me whatever you want to know”
At the surface level, these both algorithmic analogy appears very fair but dig deep to know that in both cases user loses the freedom of acquiring knowledge without prejudices. This is how our experiences about our past is being tempered. If I hate any person, any sect, any gender, caste, creed or ethnicity then Facebook will keep feeding me with more reasons to brood up this hatred and Google will simply tell me what Google’s rank buyers want me know my hatred. This means by one instrument, I will only brood my hatred and by another, I will remain a customer of hatred. I no case I will have unfiltered, non-tormented and non-distilled information which can help me question my own belief and reasoning. Facebook stimulates my hatred and Google catalogues it.
In our side, the fact is that we have lost the ability to consume unfiltered information. We have become so much a consumer that we want everything readymade. We don’t want complex things in systematic lifestyle. We have grown up with some processed binary thoughts. With video-games, comic books, online games, TV Soaps, Cinemas and few holy books all we have learnt that them exist a hero and a villain. We all think that we are heroes and everyone against us are all villain. Interestingly, in real life no one in our network actually fits in the definition of heroes or the villain both but our mathematical ability of thinking assumes who is what. With this same analogy of heroes and villain have we all learnt to see this world.
To counter this nexus of information terrorism, we all have to return to the basics. Science is the basic ground of mankind. Social science is a practice of measuring patterns in the society. It is a method of finding the definite answers of very definite questions with least possible assumptions or prejudices. It limits the scope of deviated interpretations so that information could unearth actual conclusions. Unfortunately, this practice has maimed by the vociferous sensationalism.
Systematically designed data illusions are leading us to the new kind of slavery. As for slavery to grow, the thumb rule is to choke knowledge. With data abundance and piling information and with tempered interpretations we are leading to illusions. Is it not evitable that the world is not debating upon water crisis, climate change, poverty, epidemics in unison?