The cyber world of digital information has no boundaries. The World Wide Web (WWW) is widely known as a vast avenue for freedom of speech. It allows everybody to speak their mind in a large number of ways. Now even a common surfer of the web world can have his say through blogs, comments, remarks, views and feedback on online publications to agree, disagree or challenge the media reports.
In today’s world, people have been actively engaging in a variety of activities on platforms provided by a plethora of free social networking sites, which have collectively become a big international market for all types and sizes of businesses to take advantage of. The presence of billions of people of all ages from across the world on facebook and Twitter – the two global social networking giants – have transformed them into a multi billion dollar conglomerates.
Big media and publishing houses have also started making as good a use of the cyber space as possible by maintaining websites and portals and making their news reports and other multimedia content available to the viewers for free. Most of these sites provide major avenues for greater visitor interaction. Almost all of these big media organizations now have their pages on the major social websites.
Just like the pros and cons of any other technology, sharing of information online also has its positive and negative aspects. The greatest benefit of the online technology is its ability to carry information in a matter of a few clicks to a large population of the world. However, just because someone has the capability to communicate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do it in a responsible way. It’s very easy to misuse the freedom of expression but very difficult to fix the situation that it could lead to. An awareness is needed to take into account the implications that misuse of powerful online tools by the media industry or the common users can cause.
The online tools have allowed people to engage, consciously or unconsciously, in rumor-mongering through mass-distribution lists and social sites, and spread information without checking facts and sources. Web is abundant with tirade about discrimination and various forms of abuse, and blogs that reveal and harp on about someone’s deviant ways. It is now very easy to give vent to our opinions online about the worse in our society. Sure, flake should have its proper place, but if it is not kept in inspection, we become accessible to the danger of explaining ourselves by all the things we are against, don’t like, and rant about.
Speech is free, thanks to new media platforms, but it is cheap and easy as well these days. One should understand that “Give respect to be respected”. If we want to respect our freedom of expression and use it in responsible way, we might be capable of changing the world.