1 December 2017

Ethiopia: Practice Caution in Using Social Media

opinion

These days, the influence of the social media is progressively transforming the entire system of the globe. They are accelerating the plan of the world leaders to bring people on the globe much closer through establishing wider communication. They encourage people to be more public even about their personal lives. Even though all these and others are the merits of the social media, there are several damages they are causing on the lives of individuals, nations and beyond.

A glance at social media indicates that the number of irresponsible users is rapidly increasing. Recently, it has been reported that more than 270 million Facebook accounts are anonymous that are highly abusing the advantages of the social media. Those irresponsible individuals are causing incalculable devastation on others through disseminating very distorted, perverted, wrong information about a person, an organization and a nation.

It is undeniable issue that the social media has improved livelihood by making communication so easier and taking the rate at which knowledge is transferred certain step further. Since they are relatively new, the world has been seeing their impact on society. There are certain to be many political changes that come about due to social media. There are now proposals for internet voting, which could lead to more people participating in elections. This could make social media even more influential, as people could literally vote moments after reading the latest comments or links they found on Facebook or Twitter.

Other advancements in the internet will also change the world of politics. Polling techniques on social media will become more common and, hopefully, more accurate. More virtual political rallies and town halls will take place. As social media becomes ever more popular, its impact on politics will only increase over time. Even though it is interesting to observe when all these are taking place, there are negative things accompanying the merits. What was happened in the last election of USA can be an example.

Almost a year after the election, the Americans started to wrap their heads around the role of social media in their politics. The Facebook turned over 3,000 Russia-linked ads to Congress. But Russia's involvement in the U.S. election was just the tip of the iceberg - surfacing a level of divisive discourse that increases with each new tweet and reminds them that America continues to be torn by extremes. This is an indication of possible devastation that can be done by the social media.

Further more, the great devastation is being done by irresponsible individuals who are using names of public figures and politicians to post damaging information. Using anonymity allow them to post information that is very destructive to the socioeconomic situation of a nation since they do not have any responsibility for their deeds.

For instance, in the last two years in Ethiopia, these irresponsible unidentified individuals have caused huge damages on the nation's culture and peace. Let alone for its citizens, the nation has been known in ensuring sustainable peace in the Horn and beyond for a couple and half decades. Even though the evil strategy of 'nameless' individuals tried to cause considerable loss through disrupting the harmonious relations of citizens through using the social media, the government together with the public has successfully reduced the extent of the possible damages.

What is worse about the situation is it is impossible to withstand, escape from its damaging consequences. Every individual on the globe is a victim. Even well educated people are usually deceived by powerfully disseminated information that is impossible to discern its evil purpose.

In order to reduce the extent of the damage, the international community has to design a possible mechanism that helps to encourage responsible and ethical use of the emerging social media. What is more is, nations have to boost the awareness of their citizens concerning the problems accompanying the social media; while the civic society and higher institutions are expected to aware the young people who are very prone to the damage to be so conscious in using the information disseminated through the social media

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