According to Social Media Hoax Slayer founder Pankaj Jain, “Most of our population from the villages, or with access to cheap data but no formal education are users of Whats App.” Pratik Sinha, founder of fact-checking website Alt News, agrees, saying, “There is a huge section of the population whose internet literacy is close to nil and who do not know what to believe.Tags: Short Essay On Corporate Social ResponsibilityFree Business Plan Templates For WordPepsi Syringe Case Study AnalysisHistory Research Proposal ExampleWrite 5 Paragraph Essay BookHow To Do A Good Research PaperPhd Thesis Employer BrandingSonia Sotomayor Thesis
In Dadri, the police blamed the unrest on “a hate campaign [that] was launched at two levels: first ‘Chinese whispers,’ then rumour-mongering through Whats App and Twitter in local villages.” Many of the videos in these incidents revolved around alleged cow slaughter or cow meat storage and consumption by Muslims.
Because the cow is sacred in Hinduism, the majority religion in India, the killing of cows is even outlawed in some Indian States like Uttar Pradesh (UP).
The initial incidents were not caused solely by social media.
Historically, the region has experienced eruptions of communal violence every decade.
It's no coincidence that the evolution of the BJP and the popularity of television both occurred in the 1980s and 1990s.
Television in India collapsed the diverse regional definitions and practices of Hinduism into the single unified version people gathered around to watch on TV shows.The Indian general election is in less than a month, and social media companies are worried.In India, disinformation can do more than change an election’s outcome. At least 25 people have died since June because of viral content traced back to social media platforms.It became a direct means of information and gave us the much-needed local pulse.” What Vinit Goenka, the national co-convener for the BJP’s IT unit, said after the election still holds true, “Now we are going to use [social media] as a tool for listening.When we come out with a policy or we come out with a programme this is going to be an instant feedback for us.” Reality of Social Media and Hindutva Before social media, television was the media of the masses.Anger and fear are most effective at driving “engagement.” Guillaume Chaslot, an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher who helped develop You Tube’s algorithmic recommendation system, says, “if the AI favors engagement, like on Facebook and You Tube, it will incentivize divisive content, because divisive content is very efficient to keep people online.” The longer you retain people online, the more advertisements they see and the more opportunities you have to profit, which is what matters to social media-companies, like any commercial enterprise.The aim of social media algorithms is to keep people angry, engaged, and online.However, social media use in the aftermath of both incidents has turned what would have been a regional conflict 50 years ago into a national, and arguably a worldwide, crisis.In both the Dadri and Kathua incidents, protesters were riled-up by viral messages, photos, and videos on Whats App and other social media platforms.In 2018, India became the fastest-growing market for Twitter in terms of active uses and the market grew almost five times faster than the global average.Whats App, now owned by Facebook, was released in 2009 and is ranked India’s favorite chat app with more than 200 million active monthly users.