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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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Facebook Adding New Privacy Control Feature on its Android App

The 'Location Services' setting for iOS also comes with three choices -- Never, While Using and Always -- for when an app could access the precise location of the users

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Facebook is adding a new privacy control feature to its Android app that will allow users to block the app from collecting and saving their background location information.

“We’re introducing a new background location control on Facebook for Android so people can choose if they want us to collect location information when they’re not using the app,” Paul McDonald, Engineering Director, Location Infrastructure, Facebook wrote in a blog-post on Wednesday.

Until now, users using features location like “Nearby Friends” or “Check-in” on Facebook were asked to enable their “Location History” setting.

Enabling the “Location Sharing” feature shared the user location even when the app was not being used, allowing Facebook to store that history.

“With this update, you’ll have a dedicated way to choose whether or not to share your location when you aren’t using the app,” McDonald said.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook is also updating the “Access Your Information” feature to include an estimate of users’ primary location at the city or postal code level.

“We’re not making any changes to the choices you’ve previously made nor are we collecting any new information as a result of this update,” McDonald added.

This update announcement came just days after Facebook’s security team had used location information to track missing interns and users deemed to be threats, The Verge reported.

Also Read- WHO Claims Measles Epidemic in Madagascar Takes Hundreds Of Lives

For iOS users though the location setting was not such big an issue as Facebook would send an alert to users who chose to turn on the “Location History” feature so that they could check to make sure their settings are right for them.

The ‘Location Services’ setting for iOS also comes with three choices — Never, While Using and Always — for when an app could access the precise location of the users. (IANS)