What does outraging on Twitter achieve?

Percentage of time devoted to rural news on TVPercentage of time devoted to rural news on TV. These figures don't show more than 7% of the time for over 2/3 of India's population and YET are deceptive, because this time shown too is rarely about rural issues and more likely to be other selling news from rural locations.

It is very common to have selfish, ignorant people who would not like to know about the suffering of anyone keep talking about how “outraging on Twitter achieves nothing”. Their oblivious state registers no information flows, public opinions formed, or help offered and received. They have decided that help is not this, and that is that.

While they are responsible for their own lack of insight and observation, this is a good time to point out the obvious.

  • Each person has their own account and are free to use them how they like. How I run my account is my business. You like, you subscribe, you don’t like, you don’t subscribe, you are unbearably offended by me saying whatever I want to say, you block. That is the extent of your rights regarding my account. Therefore, going on and on about disapproval is nothing but spiteful, juvenile trolling.
  • If you look beyond your tiny little interest space, which seems to be the only valid use of social networking in your view, there are a whole lot of other uses. From businesses offering support to activists in countries with severe censorship of media quickly getting news out.
  • About  human rights – the subject that seems to offend these obnoxious royals the most: There are a whole lot of other people beyond you. Political leaders, bureaucrats, journalists, bloggers, social workers, NGOs, activists, people interested in news about human rights, people needing help…. They connect. Many useful things emerge.
  • Journalists and politicians get direct access to views of people. If you outrage on something, it means that something is hurting your interests, and on social media, your hurt matters.
  • All sides of different issues find voice, which is invaluable in helping people understand situations better and make more informed choices that are likely to accommodate the interests of more people – precious in a diverse democracy like ours. Good example would be the Janlokpal campaign, or the objections raised to recent raids on pubs and bars. The ability to hold multiple sides of an issue creates precious space for reconciliation.

Here is how outrage on Twitter has directly influenced many happenings in the world:

  1. Last year’s uprisings. From the Janlokpal movement to Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring. Sharing of views and influencing opinions and organizing was heavily facilitated by social media. Yes, the Kashmir protests too.
  2. Lost people found, lost animals found, blood donations organized and in one case, even a kidnapping prevented.
  3. Attention to human rights abuses forces politicians and bureaucrats to take notice and act. Latest example being the Guwahati molestation, but there really are countless examples here.
  4. Awareness of issues of grave wrongs that media normally does not cover. Often, this awareness leads to media coverage. Examples on this blog are Keenan and Reuben murders, Naina Singh’s murder.
  5. Those without voice being heard: As the internet penetration improves, it is helping… particularly social networks are helping people who are marginalized get their voices heard. Google CGNet Swara for an example.

This list can go on and on, but the point is made.

Do not make the mistake of thinking words are only so much air. Words are ideas. Yours may be worthless according to you, but there is more to the world than you. You may find mine worthless, but then it is highly unlikely that I have pinned my hopes on your comprehension or empathy.

Therefore, to mind your own business and not try to censor people with taunts, sarcasm or trolling.

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

About the Author

Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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