`Fakebook'

The problem is not the medium, the problem is the manner we use it

WRITE HAND

AJAZ UL HAQUE

We must not confine the concept of freedom to a mere slogan of an ideological freedom we have been fed with for so long. Our obsession with political has slaughtered the moral in us. We are not saints and we don't pontificate about scruples and values. We are only to think and assess.
We face a debate about social media and our right to be free, (if not physically at least digitally). Well, all repressive measures clamped by any political system (state or non-state) on social media can't be explained or - much less - justified. When a voice is silenced, a choice is born. You choose alternative means to make yourself heard. When other physical means of resistance are being cracked down on, technology comes in handy. And that is where we come face to face with our extended family – Facebook. Facebook literally changed the face of the world by piecing people together. If ideologies set us apart, technology brings us closer. It makes us free to exchange ideas, to know and to read each other's minds. This all contributes to the health of a society. Nets are normally notorious for trapping, but this one – I mean Internet -  does the reverse. It liberates. Through it we participate, we protest, we demand, we resist. It grants us what we were dying for. Freedom unlimited. So far so good. The trouble erupts when the same platform is used to spread hate, to kill those virtually whom you don't want to see live actually, to create public disorder for setting your own lands in order. That makes Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder  rue the day he gave us this incredible mode of idea sharing. And the trouble deepens when we slip in disguised. We become fakes thereby turning Facebook into a `Fakebook'. We hide behind pseudonyms and shoot our malice at anyone and anything we want to, and the irony is we get away with it. We want to throw, we don't want to be spotted. We kick you in the face, but we don't show our face. That is not courage, that is hypocrisy at its cheapest, lowest. That is not freedom, that is stink we spread in the name of freedom. And if that is the freedom of expression which defines our relationship with social media, I cast my vote against that freedom which makes me either a nuisance or an absence, a non-person and - in the end - a fake.
I vote for that freedom that accepts me what I am, not what you want me to be.

(The concluding part of the speech made at a book release function organized by GK Foundation last week.)

Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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