Before I start, I would like to sincerely send out our prayers to the passengers and flight crew of the flight MH 370 and also to the families of the people involved. First of all, I would like to clarify that this is not a post explaining what happened to the flight and does not contain any speculations.
As soon as the news hit the Internet, we saw frenzy in the media industry. As all serious internet users know, this will throw the social media world into a bundle of panic as well. What happened next is something that shames my previous opinion that the Internet should be allowed to run unregulated.
Internet users act high and mighty, but let’s take a look at how social media networking users aggravated the incident.
- Angry posts finding fault with various parties. Even before the issue is settled, there were countless voices yelling for blood. This was highly insensitive and unproductive, especially since….
- Most opinions were based on rumours and speculations. One speculation after another came out from the “fountain of truth” that was called the internet. The fact that these rumours were created was bad enough, but the people who acted as online “journalists” spreading it around gave rise to hundreds if not thousands of insensitive comments based on lies. One minute the flight was found, the next it crashed.
- Politicisation of the tragedy. As if it wasn’t upsetting enough, there were some users who insisted that this was a political ploy, blaming the government or the opposition for trying to create unrest in the country. It is official. Nothing happens in the country that doesn’t get related to politics.
When the amendment to the Evidence Act was made in 2012, the general public and internet users protested in anger. While I agree that it may be pushing it a little hard, how else would you make people liable for what they do on the Internet? In a reality where it is so easy to avert responsibility for what you say, how else would we ensure that the information on the Internet is reliable?
Now you tell me. Is the Internet still a credible source of news in your eyes? Is this new frontier ready to take over traditional media? Are we ready for an absolute freedom in expression? Tell us what you think.