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How social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter have become the fifth pillar of democracy

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By Arnab Mitra

“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses,” said Malcolm X. Most of the prominent media channels today are controlled by politicians and businessman, and their news is driven by an agenda. Social media deserves to be labelled another pillar of democracy for its ability to connect people on a single platform and ensure free expression.

In the recent Delhi elections, BJP spent huge chunks of money on advertisements on major newspapers during their pre-electoral campaigns. The mainstream media was all gaga over highlighting the so called achievements of the ruling party at the Centre. Little it was known that an emerging regional party like AAP’s focus on social media will change the course of elections. The results showed that how people have shifted their faith from mainstream media to social media.

‘So what’s the stand of the fourth pillar of the democracy? If they would not speak for the cause of people’, says, Amit chatterjee student of JNU. The Arab uprising, issues on Jan Lokpal bill, Nirbhaya incident have shown that it’s the voice of an average citizen that matters. A single tweet or a FB post shows potential to unite millions and yes, they have brought together people to fight for justice, if we are to buy the recent trends.

The media since its origin has betrayed the trite. It had served as a voice of the government in the past, however giving an impression of portraying the voice of the people. From Hickey’s Gazette to Caravan and during the time of emergency, the government and the people with power have always tried to choke voices and used as to control their power.

As visible, social media promises to be a new platform for people, as the opinion is not filtered while publishing and ‘The media of the people, by the people and for the people’ stands with dignity.

 

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A Complaint Registered Against Facebook’s Zuckerberg in an UP Court

"This has hurt my sentiments and has hurt national pride," the petitioner has said

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UP court receives complaint against Facebook's Zuckerberg. Pixabay

A complaint has been registered in an Uttar Pradesh court against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and three others for using national symbols and letter heads of President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its site without due permission.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Anand Prakash Singh on Wednesday set November 12 as the next date of hearing when the petitioner lawyer Omkar’s statement would be recorded.

Others named in the complaint are Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan.

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Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

The petitioner has further alleged that the social media giant runs an application which allows certain national symbols to be used without permission.

He has submitted screen shots as evidence.

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The petitioner has demanded that the named persons be punished for this offence as they were not only getting cheap popularity with the use of such symbols but were also earning a lot of money.

“This has hurt my sentiments and has hurt national pride,” the petitioner has said. (IANS)

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