Social Media and Social Issues

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Social Media and Social Issues – A study on the role of social media in shaping and publicizing Social issues

Mohana Sudhan Mayilsamy, Assistant Professor, School of Communication, Dr. G. R. Damodaran College of Science, Avinashi Road, Coimbatore - 641014. e-mail:sudhanwarrior@gmail.com, Mobile: 9944223455, Fax: 0422-2591865.

Abstract

Social media, especially social Networking Sites are turning up as an essential mode of interactive and informing media in the recent past. Especially, it is being considered as a platform for both promotion and publicizing social issues. But, the credibility and the truth of the news travelling in the networks as blogs and posts is a debatable issue. The paper starts with examining the powers enjoyed by the social networking sites and social media in the controlling the mass, uncategorized audience as well the informed citizens. Focus group observation method has been employed and analysis of the media in content handling have been done despite the rules and regulations imposed by the self-regulatory bodies in India and the loopholes present. With the findings the author concludes the need for a regulation of content in social media and a code of conduct for content management in Indian scenario.

Key Words: Media, Social Networking Sites, Media effects, Social Media, Opinion seeking

Introduction to the study:

Do we rule the media or the media rules us? Has always been the question of researchers in media and in common users of media as well. The prophecy “Medium is the message” by Marshall McLuhan, gives a clear picture of how media has been ruling us and is ruling even now though the communication tools change, and he has emphasised this in many of his works including the Global village concept to technological determinism, where media plays a major role in deciding the content and ideology of users and not the users. But with the advent of advanced technologies and interactive devices, wiz, computer, mobiles and the increasing usage of Internet and other communication technologies, communication has got a radical change. Each and every day, yet another new technology is being diffused into the minds of the people every day and even people keep on getting used to all the technologies. The gratifications approach has been found valid for the day, as people select media in a wide spread manner. Social Networking Sites, an outcome of interactive services offered by social media and communicative tools like Internet and intranet have brought the world too handy, enabling people to interact and discuss virtually. A share in a social networking site can reach hundreds even millions in time depending upon the connectivity of the users. This makes people getting flattered on the networking sites and makes them spend hours and hours hanging over the net. It offers various services like e-mailing, instant messaging, sharing photos and videos, make friends and so on. With the increase in its need and usage, the information flowing in the Social Networking Sites is unpredictable. The content travelling in the social media is very vast and in an uncontrollable way, thereby creating a non-centred authority to control news. The news gets its own form in the media as it delineates to people and gets a different perspective and form as it reaches the end user. This makes Social Networking sites, a threat to harmony in society. Maybe they are perceived as elements of social elevation, but it depends on the audience it reaches. If the audiences are well informed and are able to take a good decision, then the flow of news would not be a problem, but since social networking sites are being used by diversified audience, there should be a control imposed over the content to have a good and healthy environment in the country and make it stable in development.

Social Media:

The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies in communication and...
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