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Showing posts from February, 2013

Social Media and the rise of conspiracy theories

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With great power comes great responsibility, said Voltaire. Well you can also attribute its popularity to Spiderman's uncle too :) When Technology gave us, the general public, the great power of Social Media, we didn't become more responsible, only more frivolous
The aftermath of the Hyderabad bomb blasts which took place on Feb 21st saw a slew of Facebook updates and Tweets in my network ranging from benign to malicious. More dangerous were the purportedly expert opinions without proper basis. The same could be seen on popular blogs/websites too which treads on conspiracy theories. This lead me to think, why do people create such conspiracy theories and why it is popular among social media
The crux of conspiracy theories lies in the 2 primal human traits - Fear and Greed. Fear helped us survive and greed helped us to evolve as human beings. Most conspiracy theories are based on Greed - Money or Power, and the culprits are usually, Corporate, Political, or Milit…

The truth online

Most people think that we are not ourselves, when we are online. True? True. While we tend to fake most of what we say or do in the online space, especially in Social Media platforms – we somehow are more real than we would be in real life.
Most of our actions and utterances in real life depend on our immediate environs. The impact of where we are, whom we are with, and about whom we talk; all impacts on what we do and say. For example: saying ‘No’ face to face to a friend is harder than typing ‘No’ on a chat window, email, or even a tweet
According to John Suler, the ‘online disinhibition effect’ can be further divided into benign and toxic disinhibition (The Pyscology of Cyberspace – The Online Disinhibition http://users.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/disinhibit.html). Suler goes on to talk about six prime factors that influences the way we behave in the online space
1)You don’t know me (Dissociative Anonymity) 2)You Can’t see me (Invisibility) 3)See you later (Asynchronicity) 4)Its all in …