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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rising Racism: Of online bigots, communal comments and casteist messages on social networking websites on the internet

These days I increasingly find tendency among people to write communal and casteist comments on websites, especially, Facebook.

What was once discussed in a hush hush manner is now being openly posted, 'liked' and 'shared' on social networking websites.

Sometimes the messages are not just disgusting but hateful and inciting communal passions.

The anonymity available on internet has emboldened the people, as many of them, start pages or groups that are only aimed at spreading hatred. Its easy to blame a particular caste or community or region and then people who share the same sentiment, join together to 'recommend' and 'like' such posts.

There are 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' warriors, many of whom put a photograph of a deity or a sword, and then post defamatory and divisive comments on a daily basis. This is growing and though cyber law is harsh, the problem is that who is going to lodge complaint?

For the trolls, it takes nothing to launch a crusade against a particular section. What worries me is when I see lot of guys, some of them, my friends, who were quite humane, getting affected by such people's propaganda, and the change in their online behaviour has saddened me.

Engaging with the lunatics is not a solution and their existence is based on their hate-filled ideology, which they can't shun. Leaving the sites is also not an option. Freedom of expression is fine but there is a limit to hatespeak and dangerous propaganda that affects people.

One must find out strategies and ways to make netizens more responsible. It is our collective responsibility to think of ways that people think twice before posting, recommending and sharing racist content. At least, the sane guy shouldn't get into the trolls' trap.

In the past, I wrote a few posts on this blog on the issue of racist comments on websites and blogs. Now, with the ease a message can reach hundreds of people on Facebook walls, it has become even more serious. Those who fuel racism and post such messages must be shamed and cornered.

Read the posts I wrote earlier:

1. Playing flute to a buffalo: How to deal with hate-filled trolls, Islamophobes...?

2. Anonymous hate-filled comments like graffiti in Train toilets

3. Abusive messages, comments and this blog

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

howabout you just take care of the bigots at your end and stop preaching to those at our end, i know its a tall order for the liberals at your end given 10x magnitude of bigots in your community...but maybe you should give it a try before the world well and truly gets sick of the fence-sitters who take the easy option of pointing fingers at others instead of looking in their own backyard.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mh2753 said...

First of all a big thank you to the writer of this blog for such a wonderful blog. I have read some of the articles here and they reflect a lot of things that are going through my head and touch upon a lot of issues dearer to me. But most of all, like you, I am bothered by the rise of fundamentalism in India social media. I hate to start my day after seeing a hateful anti-muslim/anti-islam post by my friends on facebook. Some of them are plain stupid and anybody with even a little commons sense can see through them. Yet some of my very brilliant friends fall for such propaganda. Glad to see that there is someone else who has the exact same feelings as I do.

Time permitting, I would go through each and every post on your blog. As and when needed, I would point people to your blog posts so that they might change their perceptions. Please keep writing. Thanks a lot again.