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Social Media: Reason Of Instability In Vulnerable States – OpEd

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Social Media is a tool of communication and connection among the people. It is a best tool to spread information all over the globe. Social media is a new forum that brings people to exchange idea, connect with, relate to, and mobilize for a cause, seek advice, and offer guidance. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube proved itself to be a real game changer in many aspects of human life in 21st century. 

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There are many benefits we get daily from social Media and it is making human life lot easier. Today, life without social media is almost impossible. It is an age of information and you get it by just clicking one button. No one can sideline the importance of social media on this planet. 

But at the same time we cannot deny the fact that some people, groups and countries are using social media tools to achieve their evil objectives inside and outside the country. Social Media is also being used by few to create chaos, hatred and divide in the society. Fake news, propaganda, misinformation are the big negatives of social media. One can spew hatred against any individual or celebrity or any country. Fakes news can spread like wildfire via social media platforms. Often criminals use these platforms to blackmail people, especially women. Cyber bullying and hacking have caused a lot of harm to the society.

Brainwashing tactics and false narratives spread through social Media disturbs the peace and bring instability in vulnerable states. Terrorist organizations use Social Media tools to misguide youth and to incite extreme emotions among them in few countries to achieve dangerous objectives. Terrorists have been using social media for their benefit for gathering information, for recruiting members, for fund raising, and for propaganda schemes. Social Media tools can also be used as a cyber terrorism tool where the perpetrators spread false information using the Internet.

Even Politicians are not behind anyone, they are using social media tools for their election campaigns and to highlight their performance and also to malign the political rivals. In this era of social Media, even governments usually formed as well as toppled with the power of social media.

The effect of social media on political instability is stronger and significant for developing countries compared to developed countries where this effect is weak and trivial. In third world countries, mostly people are uneducated and lack the wisdom that is why politicians often use them as pawns in their power politics. It is very easy to brain wash people of developing countries by using social Media. Political parties and right wing groups of any developing country often use social media applications to create unrest and instability to achieve their own goals.

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Social media tools can maneuver the actual reality and facts; therefore, it can be used to weaken a country’s administration, society, army, or economy. Social media can cause internal conflicts, social polarization, and radicalism in any country.

Most of social media applications are influential tools of Fifth Generation Warfare. Aim is to divide and split the society and country into pieces. Such pages and accounts deal audience very tactfully, they either create confusion in people minds or attract them to their agenda. Mostly, social media tools are used to drive radicalization and violence through disinformation campaigns. Sentiments of people often get hurt by this and it creates polarization and unrest in the society.

Significant of social media has increased rapidly in the world. People and countries have realized and accepted the fact that social media is a way forward in many aspects of human life.  It is uncommon for people to go a day without using or referring to social media.  One thing no one can deny that in this era and time, social media is here to stay and will continue to affect our society.

Ahsan Zaheer is a freelance journalist and Islamabad based analyst. You can reach me at: [email protected]

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