Tentacles of social media: With great power comes great responsibility

Severa­l questi­ons raised on ethics, morali­ty, object­ivity and biases of mainst­ream and social media.

Express June 11, 2011

KARACHI: “I remember it was May last year when my father texted me when he joined Twitter. After the exchange of a few messages he convinced me to join as well. I remember my first tweet was how embarrassed I was that my father joined Twitter before I did,” recalls the young daughter of assassinated governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer.

During the 45-minute session hosted by Shehrbano Taseer several questions were raised on the ethics, morality, objectivity, fact-checking and biases of mainstream and social media.

“Twitter and Facebook initiatives and comments have the power to change people’s mind. Especially with social causes social media has been a very effective tool and thus must be used wisely.”

An untamed beast if not regulated properly, it can unleash great havoc and pain as many videos of beheadings and rapes posted online have.

“Still there are other examples of courageous citizen journalism during the floods in Japan to direct help and aid in areas that required it the most,” Taseer countered.

An unavoidable topic, the assassination of her father by his own security guard and the subsequent praise for Mumtaz Qadri’s heinous action, opened another avenue of debate. While the anger and disgust for those who supported her father’s murder could not be missed in her words, Taseer’s brave composure and openness to discuss the topic was nothing short of admirable. Disappointed by the mainstream media and journalists who speak and write without checking their facts, Taseer said, “Citizen journalism is good for Pakistan. In the mainstream, all that sells is gore. In my father’s case they took his comments which were about humanity and turned them into something religious.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2011.


Shahzad Afzal | 10 years ago | Reply I was there in Social Media summit at Avari Hotel but missed the workshop hosted by Sheharbano as I was attending some other workshop that time but I got some interaction with Shehrbano in session on Anonymity liked her thinking on topic of Anonymity :)
Asad | 10 years ago | Reply Ek aur Burger....
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