The bogus words

Reshmi Naveen
Sunday, August 6, 2017

A few days back I received a message on Whats App:If an assault with the intention of committing rape happens, the victim has the right to even kill rapists in self-defense. I was doubtful and I googled it. Not a surprise though, that was fake.

In another experience, rather embarrassing a few years back I got nearly five emails from reliable friends. It was about a tree in Thailand. (Recently, I saw someone posted it on Facebook. The tree is now in Himalayas!). Called miraculous, the Nariphon tree produce fruits like nude women. 'Fake'. Some of my colleagues shouted. Then we googled. So many pages about the fruits are opened. Some called it bogus, but some even has botanical description about it. Finally we came to a conclusion. It is fake! Sorry friends, I confessed for we finally understood that it was porn. Anyway, I could't keep calling it a fine art!

It is high time we fit an eye to sense the sixth. It has become such a tough task to understand the factuality of the news stories, pictures coming up via whats app and other social media.

But when it comes to journalistic writings spread on social media with plenty of numbers and statistics I find it difficult to differentiate. In school I was among those who scored too less in mathematics. Now as I read through the media on internet I realize some are merely false. Some messages with pictures which makes us laugh aloud are propagandas. (Commonly known as trolls.) With ease it sets off the idea of the sender. I mean the first person who sends it. Most of us blindly forward it.

Thanks to those who do not take them at heart. But there is an another group who takes each word seriously.

So well are they written that I am sure there are people, who have a flair for writing are made to write this. I have learnt that there are PROs working for politicians and political parties. It is a big industry. These kind of write ups are a good PR tool. It is even distressing to see some of the mainstream media publishes news stories, features, articles with an agenda. How unethical!

I often read them and think how dangerous some of them are. They have used the hypodermic needle theory of communication. The words deeply instigate into our brain and it can emotionally touch us. Such messages effects religious sentiments and can bring in communal dispute. In social media, especially in Whats App two step flow theory is very much effective. It spreads in a seconds time. So many Whats App groups are already divided. From families to residential associations, from villages to towns, from district to states and the country, and the whole world separation is obvious. The world already has too many divisions. (Some blame it on British for their divide and rule policy during colonization.) Wars are already on!

It is time we abstain from following and sending religious message or any message that is a threat to the security of country. We should stay away from any messages that breaks the harmony of our nation. May it be in the form of words, images, audio or video. We do have a right to freedom of speech and expression, but it is reasonably restricted. In this new era, a extra vigilance is a must to live in peace.

Reshmi Naveen Gopal is a freelance writer. She is a post graduate in Communication and Journalism. She has worked with main stream print media and online journals. She has been a faculty in communication and journalism at a couple of colleges.
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Express your comment on this article

 
Humanist
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Excellent write up. Echoes my thoughts exactly. On a related note we see shaming of RaGA and NaMo by thier parties for the other. Manipulative write ups and social media shaming has become so strong with jokes on pappu and achhe din that the real person and the desired role/competency/responsibility/accountability from that candidate is lost. People get busy in entertaining themselves on these fake, manufactured, manipulative entertainment dished out sometimes as news and facts. Eventually harming our nation.

Jisha Subin
Monday, August 7, 2017
Truly an eye opener. Good write up Reshmi.

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