Social Media Trials: A Hegemony - Tanya Khurana
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
Social media is the superhighway in today’s world. It is no less than a competent partner for each generation & has found its way to everyone’s life. On average people spend around 2-3 hours per day on social media. From connecting with people to developing hate for them, social media has turned the reality into an upside-down. It has become the easiest way to fly away from the actual world and people are using it as an escape. It is being used as a road to sway and manipulates any individual’s personality, negatively or positively.
There have been many incidents where people are found passing their verdicts on social media platforms & they tend to make a person guilty without any substantial proof even when the law says innocent until proven guilty. The term prejudice is the perfect example of such people who are spreading negativity through their social media platforms. Prejudice means when someone makes pre-judgment about any incident without knowing the facts, history, or reasons. These people have the nature to jump into the conclusion. Prejudgment is basically based on the stereotype or the biasness people have for others just like how homemaking women are linked with kitchen and pink color associate with girls.
Social media has the power to influence and revolutionize masses. Social media has given voice to the suppressed and fearful. It has given strength to people to share their opinion without any hesitation, with the fact on the hand that the responsibility of every individual increases with active participation in society. In recent times, many incidents can be seen over the internet where people, especially youth, were posting their judgment without knowing the whole scenario. Following very famous plots where social media users showed their prejudice attitude towards any story in hand. Not long ago, there was an incident where a teenage girl made an allegation on a teenage boy for raping her. That story went viral, as clicking on share button is so easy that people don’t even give a second thought to the consequences, and the moment it broke out people start posting things in her support and started defaming that teenage boy without acknowledging the factual case or without having any dime authority to judge him in hand.
The news was trending for several days on various social media sites and it led to the suicide of that teenage boy. People started showing their hypocrisy by supporting the thread named “my brother is not a rapist” and turned their back away from that girl. Their hypocrisy took someone’s life and caused irreversible damage to the family. If that boy has committed anything which he shouldn’t, even then no law gave the right to pass verdict on social media. Doubtlessly, Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India grants the power of freedom of speech and expression along with freedom of the press, but that does not give us the right to declare someone guilty on social media, this Article comes with some restriction to it’s applicability.
Prejudice kicked in the moment when the girl claimed about that boy, people started looking from the women lancing and brought that stereotype of woman harassment and ignored the fact that 1 out of 10 men gets sexually harassed too. Similar things happened in the above mentioned case boy received so many threat calls, messages that committing suicide became a better option.
Now, turning the page to very famous actor Late Shushant Singh Rajput, his demise was very painful and mysterious which made everyone the investigator of his death. His death left so many stones unturned that people started blaming & criticizing other bollywood actors for his death. People started posting brutal comments about other celebrities. What everyone has done after his death is same which led Sushant’s death, i.e. causing mental humiliation to other stars. Police is still investigating and doesn’t have any evidence in hand but people on social media have already claimed the culprits of his death.
The world needs to think before they speak, understand before they act and study before they judge. The time is not so far where this series will take more lives just because of someone’s assumption.
THINGS NEED TO UNDERSTAND.
Indian democracy has laid down that how every citizen of India has the privilege to exercise their fundamental rights. Indeed, media has some unrestricted powers but the trick is that it steals away the chance of fair trials. Social media instantly turns alive with gossips, rumors, threats and people suddenly have an opinion about any unknown being which is why the assertion of someone being innocent until proven guilty is upheld by the law.
Given the extensive use of social media, the whole pattern of publication of news has been changed due to this, this can also have a prejudicial impact on the cases which can likely effect the suspect or the witness and even a judge to an extent.
The commission suggested the prohibition of the element that can prove to be prejudicial towards the accused. Justice Sikri even remarked about hard hit the case when the people on media decide and publish on their social media that what should be the outcome of the case. In this era of social media, someone orchestrate the story on social media and it goes viral within hour and reaches billion of people in such short span time. It deeply affects the privacy of an individual and is an attack on their dignity. Even though the person might be guilty for the offence but the law doesn’t iterate that the person should be prosecuted by the social media. It was the platform made for the connectivity and positivity but it has become the place for hate, fake news and bullying. This is what social media can do to people. The solution to this is only a proper legal framework that disseminates awareness about law and people must be held accountable for what they do on social media.