India

Virtual Facebook Activism Taking Toll of Real Lives

400 Arrested Protesters in Bangkok (Tuesday, October 24, 2004)

Sameer Khan for BeyondHeadlines

The unfortunate incident of Mob violence and the subsequent police firing resulting in deaths of 2 protestors in Mumbai was a shocking event but it should also be an eye opener to this new menace of false facebook activism.

There have been fake pictures of Massacre of Muslims in Burma and also Assam being circulated on Facebook and other social networking sites. How many of us have actually bothered to check the authenticity of such pictures. The much publicized picture of Buddhist monks among dead bodies that was supposed to be of Dead Rohinga’s of Burma after my search was found to be actually picture of china earth quake that struck on 14th April 2010. Another pic of dead bodies lying next to sea is actually a pic of Police water Canon in a political protest in Thailand.

There is such a great campaign of hatred and misinformation on Social networking sites which a lot of gullible people are falling bait for. The protestors that took part in Mumbai rally most of them were in their 20’s  and carried pics of Burma violence these young men have not witnessed the riots or the violence that the older generation still remembers that followed the Babri Demolition and its aftermath. It’s up to the community elders and the rally organizers to ensure that such unfortunate incident do not recur.

Another result of the Burma and Assam violence hate campaign is attacks on students of North east in Pune. People who are attacking these innocent North East Students have no clue about any ground reality of Bodo Migrant Violence in Assam and that these innocent students do not even belong to Assam but other North eastern states like Manipur and Nagaland.

It’s also interesting to note that much of these fabricated Pics have their origin in Pakistan as is evident from the logos that appear on some of the pics. Internet and social networking sites are being used for many things and most of it are in productive manner but we must also open our eyes to the new vice of Hate propaganda on Internet and we have just seen a glimpse of what can be results of such lies.

I think it’s time for all Rational thinking intellects esp. among the Muslim community to open their eyes to such Social Networking Misinformation campaign being spread on Internet and the impact of such Campaign is not just India centric its seen in also places like Syria, Libya and other conflict zones.

While it is absolutely imperative to speak out against injustice and other forms of repressions at the same time we must keep our eyes open and let’s not fall for such traps that only intend to spread hatred and anarchy among the people.

Note: BeyondHeadlines attached the Fake Burma Pics in this Post and you can check their authenticity in Google.

(Sameer Khan is a Freelance writer based in Pune.)

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