New Media Defining Democracy: Seminar
July 19, The U.S. Consulate hosted a seminar on New Media Defining Democracy, with Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan at the American Centre. The presentation and interactive session was well attended by schools such as, La. Martiniere For Girls’, La. Martiniere For Boys’, Birla High School, St. Xaviers Collegiate School and ILead Institute. Students as well as teachers of these schools participated and contributed in the session. Prof. Sreenivasan, the Dean of Student Affairs and a digital media professor of the Columbian Journalism School, spoke about how new media is changing the world’s democratic structure and is giving voice to people who were almost invisible till now. As an example he cited the example of the Tunisian revolution which was propagated and fuelled through the use of new media, like Facebook and Twitter. He explored how social media has had political impacts, with reference to the Phillipine President who was removed of his position eventually due to public protest, which was largely organised through text messaging. The discussion then moved on to social networking sites, mainly Facebook and Twitter. In a survey it was found that the Internet Penetration of Facebook in the world is 7.6 per cent of the total Internet Penetration, which is 28.8 per cent. Twitter follows closely. Sreenivasan quoted Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, “privacy is not a social code anymore”. In the global connect scenario of today, it is almost a requisite to be as transparent and accessible as possible. If one uses social networking sites for business purposes or as a platform for making new connections, one’s details cannot be ambiguous or incomplete. He urged people to provide their information fully and clearly. “It is imperative to open up to the world community.”, he emphasised.
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