Technology has helped to develop the world at things we could not have fathomed a few years ago. People can connect with anyone in the world at any time, send message, view pictures and this is just some of the basic uses of the internet and technology. Technology is the backbone of almost all of the things we do in our lives. All of our activities are interdependent on technology. Now what drives technology is the internet, without internet, our lives can become a mess because we are more and beyond depending on the internet. We upload photos on the internet, we send messages through the internet. Social media has taken over our lives and we live through them now, access to them is only through the internet though.
Online privacy is a very big factor nowadays. There are many ways through which our personal information can be given to other people. People’s data is always at a risk and never truly and completely safe as it is always prone to hacking, leaking, and can be accessed easily.
What is scary is the fact that the social media platforms themselves sell personalized data based on our choices through scanning and saving our clicks and recording our general preferences. Whatever you see in your feed is based on an algorithm that studies your past behavior, calculates your likes and dislikes, follows your searches, and then provides you with a feed that you will automatically like. Very cleverly is advertisements based on your preferences placed there which makes them even more tempting.
Supposedly you search for a flat or apartment on the internet, now the data is sent to social media platforms instantly and they know that you want an apartment or flat. You’ll start seeing advertisements on Facebook and Instagram regarding the same. These go for all the products that you search, even if you are interested in cars and follow and or search various car posts and pages, you’ll automatically start seeing more and more car posts in your feeds. Your profile is sold to advertisement agents or brands by the social media platforms for them to show their products based on your preferences.
Now some argue that this is a good thing as social media should be interesting or some may even say that we should stop social media altogether as everything has its risks and rewards. But the thing that scares me the most is that sometimes the government can also be on the other side of this.
In recent cases, it has been seen that Facebook deliberately hid trump opposing posts during his tenure and also during the elections. India is nowhere behind, recently the govt. authorities threatened to ban the social media platforms which denied to comply with their new policies giving them 3 months to accept the same. If not done they would lose their status as social media platforms in India and would also face a lawsuit for not complying with the law of the land.
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, states that social media intermediaries primarily messaging apps or sites will have to enable identification of the first originator of the message for prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, or punishment of an offense related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years.
The Ministries of Electronics and Information Technology and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting undertook elaborate consultations among themselves to have a harmonious, soft-touch oversight mechanism in relation to social media platforms as well as digital media and OTT platforms, etc.
The social media platforms will now have to take down the content which has been flagged down by the govt. of India and the platforms will have no say in it, they have to comply with the rules anyhow or say goodbye to their brand in India.
There have been many cases where people who criticize our govt. or their policies have to face scrutiny just for raising their voices or pointing their views that are not in favor of the govt. Who’s to say that if the top officials cannot digest slight criticism against them and think that it affects their images as well as that of the govt. will remove the post or comment barring them from views. These are all examples of a govt. which is overprotective of its image and wants to hide its lack of work done.
The govt. has now set a mechanism to edit and certificate movies and series released on the internet as well.
Whats app has filed a case against the govt. and its policies in the Supreme court stating that it violates the user’s privacy to which the Indian govt. is fighting against. If the Supreme court rules in the favour of the government,
What privacy would you have left if the govt. initiates a probe on your message which says that you think the prime minister did not handle the covid crises well?
What privacy would you have if you tweet regarding a certain MP and how his work has not been visible in his state yet even after several years of his term and that tweet gets taken down?
How would you like that your favorite Tv series gets edited and cannot show what they truly wanted to show because it brings the govt., its intermediaries or its policies, functions, decisions, corruption in a bad light?
Be they be the corporate giants or the govt. technology and the internet have a dark side as well, can and are abused by people in authorities.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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