Tentacles of social media: With great power comes great responsibility

Published: June 12, 2011
Shehrbano Taseer at the social media conference. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL

Shehrbano Taseer at the social media conference. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL

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.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Saad Hashmi
    Jun 12, 2011 - 4:32AM

    I believe social media is definitely a positive trend. A bit disappointing it’s role in the Arab Revolution was completely neglected, particularly in Egypt. Nonetheless, when it comes to Shehrbano Taseer, while I deeply sympathise with the untimely and horrific assassination of Salman Taseer, she is not the prime candidate to be briefing on the responsibility that comes with such privilege as her Twitter timeline itself is filled with continuous slander against Imran Khan. Hate or like someone, when you have that platform, do not use it to object your own personal ‘views’ or biases in such an unclassy manner especially when you claim yourself to be a ‘journalist’ and hence accepting the great power which comes with such a position.Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2011 - 5:33AM

    Religion is not supposed to make us hate/kill people, it’s supposed to free us from the shackles of hate. A heart that hates can not have God in it!Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Jun 12, 2011 - 6:47AM

    I am with you Shehrbano Taseer. InshaAllah your fathers dream of a tolerant and just Pakistan will come true.Recommend

  • Mooed
    Jun 12, 2011 - 7:30AM

    the conference was held with collaboration of US consulate
    speaks a lot about the true motives behind itRecommend

  • Noman Sheikh
    Jun 12, 2011 - 10:40AM

    Shehrbano Taseer is beautiful & smart!Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2011 - 10:59AM

    This was a good session. It was great to know how social media, esp. Twitter, is being used around the globe although the debate, on whether there should be regulations or some of censorship or not, did not reach a conclusion.Recommend

  • Rafay
    Jun 12, 2011 - 12:27PM

    Murder of Salman taseer was totally worng in every aspect. he was a great Man.Recommend

  • Ms Marium
    Jun 12, 2011 - 12:47PM

    Who is she ? :PRecommend

  • Mahmood Hussain Khan
    Jun 12, 2011 - 1:21PM

    I believe that we learn a lot what we observe and learn on social media groups discussions. What we learn is “TOLERANCE” and that is what the basic principle of ISLAM is ……. So I believe in this and best way to bring improvement is our society ……. Our Prophet did the same by teaching the wrong doing of the society at that time ……. it was social media of that time which He used to preach “TOLERANCE” basic of Islam which has the best effects after words. If we get that TOLERANCE back in our society we will be the best NATION again……PLZ use this Social Media to promote “TOLERANCE”……….. Recommend

  • Jun 12, 2011 - 2:20PM

    Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.Recommend

  • Naveed Akhtar
    Jun 12, 2011 - 5:05PM

    Salman Taseer was what Pakistani needed badly. I hope his beautiful intelligent daughter follows her fathers footsteps to the full. Recommend

  • Immymud
    Jun 14, 2011 - 2:45PM

    Hhhmm… Nice Post.!Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 14, 2011 - 4:37PM

    Ek aur Burger….Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2011 - 5:09PM

    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 :)Recommend

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