By Yashi Jain
Social media is a revolutionary platform for discussions and discourse. It is a far-reaching platform for the voiceless to be heard, for people to put forward their opinion and have a healthy debate. That is also what the Constitution of most of the countries says about freedom of speech. With great power also comes great responsibility, and it becomes vital to ensure that these platforms are used in the healthiest way possible.
Stifling online discourse
A page on Facebook that goes by the name of ‘Humans of Hindutva’ (run anonymously) decided to go offline because the healthy discourse that the page created was not appreciated online. The man started the page with the agenda to promote humanism. Like all of us, he is just a regular Indian who believes in the Constitution and tries to put forward logical reasoning on the table through satire. “I love India, but I realise that my country suffers from social ills and the government is answerable to every Indian citizen, no matter what their religion, caste, gender or financial status. The people I parody think the opposite. I only wish people realise that nothing I say comes from a place of malice.” Despite his opinions coming from a space of love for his country, he became the victim of multiple death threats and threats from Facebook about the public revelation of his identity.
Food for thought
What is shocking is how Facebook is slowly becoming a rostrum where such humanism is sneered upon and hooliganism is not. The founder of this page decided to go offline after he was issued multiple warnings by Facebook for objectionable content even though he was always within the guidelines set by Facebook. “I have received these warning so many times on account of mass reporting that I perpetually feel that I’m walking on thin ice. It was on receiving one such warning that I decided to quit a while back. It’s almost as if Facebook’s system is logging me a repeat offender when, going by their apologies, I’m within the guidelines set by them. This is why I am struggling to understand Facebook’s community standard,” he wrote. The founder challenges everyone to scroll through the comments of his posts and compare it to the posts of nationalists pages. He says we would find no hatred or malice in his comments section and find tons on the other side. The question that is baffling then is that why are their posts never taken down while he has to face issues every single time?
The creation of this page happened in a state of stupor and the creator is grateful to Facebook for giving him a stage for his opinions. However, he believes it is time for Facebook to evolve and understand the power of its medium and not become a sell-out like most of the media houses in the country.
Featured Image Source: Pexels
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