GRE Prep (B+C):
Social media has burgeoned social tensions like never before. it has divided people, sensationalized even the most banal and trivial things. The giant multinational companies which bolstered facebook’s existence with billions of dollars of advertisements, are gradually on the route of boycotting the platform. Already Mr. Zuckerberg has lost around 7 billions and if all the companies continue their boycott it would cost upto 70 billions for facebook. It all started after bombastic claims of facebook condoning racist, boorish, hateful contents started to surface online. A non profit organization, Stop Profit for Hate called for a massive boycott, where companies after companies responded and buttressed the cause. Zuckerberg and his team tried to burnish their corroded image through talking with the activists at the NGO, revisiting and reconsidering their policies, but sadly to no avail. Facebook is starting to lose its ground as a socially beneficent tool rather picking up the image of a socially destructive and divisive one.
But, this raises a question. Is castigation of such a magnitude is actually justifiable? Social dynamics, especially when occurring online are capricious in nature, and policing them is a double edged sword. If you stand up for free speech, you cant go on censoring everything that might go against your views or opinions. On the other hand, if you let free speech free speech loose, it can cause catastrophic damage in the form of fake news, mass bullying, doxing, gaslighting, cancelling etc which may have devastating socio-political impacts or may push an individual towards destruction. This is a confounded issue to to solve, with no black and white answer to it. To be complaisant to each customer is not practically possible. It all started to go downhill for facebook after twitter factchecked Donald Trump on a series of tweets on mail in ballots, the source of which was of course, CNN. This little incident acted as the catalyst to facebook’s downfall. Trump admonished twitter for factchecking him, accusing them of censoring his free speech. Twitter denied to step back from factchecking misleading contents even if those are from big shots like the president himself. Trump threatened twitter with litigation, but to no avail. When facebook was asked if they would follow twitter in converging towards a safe space in the internet, zuckerberg said no. He advocated for free speech. Things started to get a lot of escalated from that point on. Facebook’s stance was not conciliatory with facebook’s progressive public outlook, which advocates for diversities and safe space. To remain compliant with the current social status quo, zuckerberg had to side with the progressives. But in my opnion, zuckerberg may have made the move not to go against progressives but to avoid contention with the govt. which were already accusing facebook of allowing election meddling by russian online troll armies. The cambridge analytica compendium was a severe blow to facebook’s reputation, losing them many of their customers and causing them face show-cause in senate. While seeing twitter getting a political blowback, facebook clearly wanted to avoid the contention with the government based on their past learning. Facebook therefore played a craven move here to stay on the safe side in this drama. But were the wrong at maths, this instead hit them harder than ever. The drama so convoluted and facebook inadverdently got so intertwined with it, that within the matter of 2 hours facebook lost 7 billions. The conundrum of online social dynamics is hard to crack. One miscalculated step may end up your career, or collapse an entire industry. No matter how much contrite you might become afterwards, it might not be enough to undo the damage Compliant with the public will is a must. But what needs to be measured, is the loudness of the groups and the shift in public opinions. Companies are unconscious entities which have one goal in mind, to profit. The companies joining stop hate for profit campaign also joined the cause as a business move, because at the end public image translates into money too, hence they seem to compliant along with the shifting and popular opinion of their target demographic. One needs to realize, there is no absolute truth. In a post modern world, truth is subjective and depends on the loudness of a group and the political backups behind them. Every field of academia, which once was thought to be independent are too somehow depended on corporation money, public funding and money from local and international students. whenever money dependency comes in, so comes constraints. Their outputs therefore somehow align to the status quo mostly if not always, reinforcing ideas which are gaining momentum among a significant demographic. The linearization of ideas has not yet reached an alarming state, true. Most chicaneries sweep in the fields of social science, where objective experimentation is tough to model, hence sometimes wrong codas get brought out by the authors which may or may not be shaped by their bias. The caustic issues of todays, like the trans issue debate, or the race debate, or the diversity debates, immigration debates rarely get opposing and critical viewpoints published out of fear of backlash. Even Nytimes, which is a coagulation of leftist ideas, published an article yesterday how their stance on Covid-19 spread trajectory got influenced by the question of racial gatherings. The inconsistency of these scientific stances clearly depicts a fear of incommensurate public backlash and the fear of getting cancelled out. We are having a group connoisseurs from all public spheres who apparently claim to have monopoly on the truth, despite not being a practitioner of nuances, whose loud voice is cogent enough for the public discourse to get lineralized, and academia along with corporations to act along with their sideline. Because ultimately strength in numbers, or to be more precise, the dominant numbers. In my honest opinion, we should at least spare the academia, and keep it free from the fear of backlash, because we cannot afford losing trust on this side, unless we are prepared to face a growing substantiated distrust in this sector which would have long lasting ill impact on every aspect of lives. Fuck the industries, they can eat shit for all i care.