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Editorial: The Dark Side Of Social Media

When we talk of social media, we immediately visualise Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bebo, HiFive and others. It is seen as a place where we post photos, tell friends and families
02 Oct 2018 10:00
Editorial: The Dark Side Of Social Media

When we talk of social media, we immediately visualise Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bebo, HiFive and others. It is seen as a place where we post photos, tell friends and families about what is happening on your front and in return, catch up with what is happening on their end.

Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

The dark side of this or problems social media platforms have given us, is we now have people hiding behind fake names and screens.

In turn, they are allowing others to judge them for the lives they want them to think they have, the lives they portray online.

If you look at some sites which have become part of Fiji’s social media network, you will notice the rising number of fake names uploading anything they can get their hands on.

They do this either to create some sort of instability or try to discredit those that are in power.

They do this because they are afraid of being caught or are just born whiners, always full of complaints and spend most their days just whingeing and moaning.

They have an overload of feelings and animosity against someone, be it an ordinary person or someone in authority, including Government ministers and need an outlet to release this pain they have within.

These people are afraid of the rejection of others if they are caught whining and complaining.

Worse still, they are afraid that at the end of the day things don’t go the way they had intended it to, they would become the laughing stock of everyone who knows them.

In October 2016, after being attacked by people on social media over the handling of a train crash that killed 70 people, Cameroon’s Government deplored the use of social media, labelling it a “dangerous” tool used to disseminate false information and instill fear in the public.”

Addressing Cameroon’s parliament the following month, Speaker Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, called social media “a new form of terrorism.”

These platforms, according to Mr Djibril, were best described as a “social pandemic,” perpetuated by “amateurs, whose ranks, unfortunately, continue to swell and who do not have a sense of etiquette and decorum.”

Fiji, without a second thought is fast becoming, or if it hasn’t now, a prime Facebook country where there is a significant increase in the use of smartphones, computers and laptops, where more than 60 per cent of people have a Facebook account.

Those behind these fake accounts have done their homework and know when they disseminate false news on social media, users who thrive on such postings simply ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ and another 200 or so friends read it and the rippling effect carries on.

People must become vigilant and know which type of news to digest and which news to ‘Delete’.

These people who post under pseudonyms want you to start thinking like them and once that happens, you fall into the negative world where the good is not good for you.

Fijians must wake up and say no to these people who hide behind a mask and play on their intellect and emotions.

CHARLES CHAMBERS

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 



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