Social media & its implications on news

Social media

Table of Content

1. Introduction
2. News on Social Media, Fake News & Chinese whisper
3. Echo Chamber
3.1 Filter Bubbles
4. Advantages and Disadvantages of News on Social Media
5. My thoughts and further readings

1. Introduction:

Since the inception of internet, internet users grown exponentially. According to a data estimate of 2018, India alone had 700 million user behind only by China which at that time had 800 millions of users. So this is the scale on which this topic is being studied. Talking about Social media, it is a platform on which people can share ideas, information and can interact with different people.

Social media is used via internet around the globe. “News”, which is also a type of information is also being shared while interaction on social media among different people. As talked earlier also that there are millions of people using internet (or social media), so when a news is being shared on this platform, it must be having mass impact because of the number of users. The impact can be good or bad depending on the content being shared. Which is systematically described in the content that follows.

2. News on Social Media, Fake News & Chinese Whisper: There are a number of social media platforms available on the internet like Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and many more. News is being shared frequently on these social media platforms. News is described as a piece of information which can be correct or wrong. When the wrong information is being shared deliberately across paper media or social media it is called Fake news. Social media has brought drastic increase in terms of Fake news and misinformation. Fake news is used for many purposes like to gain popularity in politics or to spread false information against the opposition or to defame
someone famous.  Some of the recent Fake News are as follows:-

i. In India, on 08.11.2016, 500 & 1000 rupee note has been demonetised. A fake news has been shared on mainstream media as well as in social media that a new currency note of 2000 rupees will come and it will have ground breaking technology of Nano GPS Chip. If a certain amount of these 2000 rupee note are kept at a place, it will send signal to the relevant authority for busting the black money. But in reality there was no such thing.

ii. In USA, during the presidency election of 2016, a large junk of misinformation has been shared on
social media against the democrat member Clinton. If one imagine applying Chinese whisper on such a big scale, he will be scared knowing the dire results it would cause. People existing views also matters while sharing news on social media. The term associated with this is Echo Chamber.

3. Echo Chamber: Echo chamber influences the news that is being consumed by the masses on social media. In acoustic terminology “echo” is situation in which sound reverberates in a closed chamber. So echo chamber is a condition or situation in which a news is repeatedly consumed by the people in a closed system. In this situation people consume only that information or news which is in conformance to their views. Due to this reason, existing views of people get amplified. Which in turn creates polarization and extremism.

In social networking websites or applications like Facebook and WhatsApp, people often confronted by groups. In these groups each of the group member can share his/her ideas. These groups are being made on the basis of religion, caste & political inclination. So when these like-minded people share information, the result is the amplification of their existing beliefs. People also search for the news on internet. There is term called Filter bubble related to the search results that we get, as explained below :

3.1 Filter Bubble: This term is associated with the algorithm that a search engine or website uses. The search results that comes out are based on the browsing history of the user, location and likes of the user. For example, when you search something on Google, the results will be based on the information that Google has stored about you on its server. Which ultimately causes the results to be as per your likes and separates you from the information that is not match up to your views. Similar to the Echo chamber, filter bubbles also leads to the polarization and amplification of the existing views.

4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media.
Advantages:
i. Social media helps in creating information more accessible.
ii. People from all across the world are connected through it.
iii. It also serves as an entertainment media.
iv. It is a “dialog” media as compared to the traditional “monolog” media, so people can interact with others.

Disadvantages:
i. Political polarization.
ii. Fake news increased drastically.
iii. People often get emotionally attached to the social media, which is harmful to their mental health.
iv. People spend most of their valuable time on social media.

5. My thoughts and Further readings: People should start listening about both sides of the story which will help them to make a better society. This will enhance the goodwill of the country. People should research on their own and then decide what is correct. For further reading, I personally suggest all the readers to study philosophy

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