The Ethical Use of Social Media
In the past decade, social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, share information and interact with each other. With billions of people around the world using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media has become a powerful tool for personal expression and communication. Talking about India, the number of active social media users stood at 330 million in 2019 and it is expected to reach 448 million by 2023. However, as with any tool, it is crucial to use it responsibly and ethically.
Social Media Pros and Cons in 2023 ?
One of the primary ethical concerns surrounding social media is privacy. The Supreme Court of India recognized the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution in 2017. It laid down certain privacy principles relevant to informational privacy (i.e., data privacy). The recently proposed draft of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill gives individuals the right to know whether personal data about them is being processed or has been processed by a company and how it will be processed.
Moreover they will have the right to withdraw consent if they do not wish their data to be processed. However the users must be mindful of what information they share online, as well as the consequences of sharing too much personal information. For instance, sharing personal details such as full name, phone number, address, and date of birth can make individuals vulnerable to identity theft and cybercrime. It is essential to understand that anything posted on the internet is permanent, and users must be careful about what they post, particularly if it could be damaging to their reputation.
Another significant ethical issue is cyber bullying. Social media has provided a platform for individuals to harass, intimidate, and bully others online. This can have devastating effects on the mental health and well-being of victims, particularly children and young people. According to a recent survey, 1 in 3 kids face cyberbullying in India as early as at the age of 10 making India the number one nation for reported cyberbullying in the world. Users must understand that they have a responsibility to treat others with respect and dignity, and refrain from using social media as a means to harm others.
Social Media Cons
The spread of false information is another area of concern in social media. The ease with which information can be shared and spread means that it is now more important than ever to be critical of the sources of information and ensure that the information being shared is accurate and trustworthy. India witnessed a 214% rise in cases relating to fake news in the pandemic year of 2019. The spread of false information in India is widespread and it is crucial to find solutions specifically addressing this issue in the region.
Political activity is the main factor contributing to the increase of fake news in India. The spread of false information through WhatsApp was common during India’s 2019 general election. The need to improve digital literacy is increasingly urgent. Social media users must take the time to fact-check information before sharing it and be mindful of the potential impact of spreading false information.
Lastly, it is crucial to respect intellectual property rights. Social media makes it easy to share music, images, and videos, but it is important to ensure that the content being shared is not copyrighted. Copyright infringement can result in legal action and financial penalties.
Social Media Pros
Social media has the potential to be an incredibly powerful tool for communication and self-expression. However, it is crucial that users understand their responsibility to use it ethically and responsibly. By being mindful of privacy, cyberbullying, the spread of false information, and intellectual property rights, social media users can ensure that they use this tool in a way that benefits themselves and others.
Kumud Sharma is the First Well-Known Female Journalist of the Journalism World of Himachal Pradesh. I am the Founder, Editor in Chief, Managing Director, Promoter of Diary Times. As a Female Journalist, With My Experience of More Than Nine Years, I Tell You Every News of Himachal Pradesh From The Ground Level With Absolutely Accurate and Correct Information, Be it the Politics of Himachal Pradesh or the Ground Reality, My Perspective On Every News Will Give You Assurance. I Assure You That Every News of Mine Will Comply With the Expertise and Fact Checking Policy.