Social media haters shouldn’t hide behind anonymity

Some Internet users have been using social media platforms to express hate speech and messages certain that the distance and anonymity provides absolute cover. Sunny Bindra, a social media expert in Kenya, however says this will not work.

Bindra told HumanIPO that Social media platforms are mere tools and can be used for good or bad, since they reflect the intent of the humans behind them.

“The government – and all of us – must remain vigilant since we all have a responsibility not to allow hate speech to escalate. We need to attack and ridicule it when we see it happening,” Bindra said.

If used correctly, Bindra believes that Social Media is going to revolutionise the way public issues are handled in a country, especially Kenya.

“We have one of the world’s youngest populations, rapidly connecting via mobile technology. Social media will transform everything once enough people are connected. No one – not politicians, not CEOs – will be able to ignore that seething mass of opinion,” he expressed.

Bindra was saying this when Kenyans turned turned to social media to express their frustrations on Communications Commission of Kenya’s -the country’s communication regulator- move to switch of fake phones. It’s also on the same platform that Kenyans expressed their disappointments when one politician was accused of spreading hate speech.

Bindra urges social media users to use the newfound connectivity and power for good purpose, saying, “Use this powerful platform to move beyond trivia and do some good for the world. This is a unique opportunity to exercise unprecedented influence in the world.”

The power of social media was witnessed in the Egyptian revolution, with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube playing different roles. Rafat Ali, a social media expert and founder of PaidContent, told wired.com that Facebook helped to organize the activists inside the country, while Twitter functioned to help get the message out to the broader world.

“Facebook definitely had a role in organizing this revolution,” Ali told Wired.com. “It acts like an accelerant to conditions which already exist in the country. Twitter and YouTube serve as amplification for what’s happening on the ground. And they directly affect Western media coverage.”

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