Dilemma of social media credibility

Social media has emerged as the mobile and web-based technologies phenomena of the modern world, where internet users create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Currently, a number of interactive websites including the most popular social networking site Facebook, followed by Twitter and LinkedIn are available for the purpose. According to statistics, the number of internet users opting for social media is on the rise across the world, as they feel encouraged to say or release information of their choice. As for as the utility of social media in developed states is concerned, the usage of social media is mostly confined to dissemination of information and develop opinion based on facts and arguments in addition to trickle down the benefits of modern research and developments of diverse nature to the people. And the results are quite vivid as one can see a wide difference of progress in developed and under-developed states can be witnessed. For instance, websites like Facebook and Twitter help farm workers not only to speak to people who influence policies but also the public who might not be aware of conditions in the fields. So is the case with other sectors. While in the case of Pakistan, the social media has aggressively grasped the internet users including mobile phone users. This platform has played an important role in stimulating the dormant people to have social interaction with others. Organizations, communities and individuals in Pakistan share, discuss contents and run various campaigns. However, at the same time lack of credibility is something that has rocked the social media very gravely. Particularly, political forces, pressure groups, organizations and individuals are relatively the most penetrating players as they spread information of their own choice serving their own interests. The worrisome aspect of this trend is that the social media users easily get influenced with what others say on social media. Resultantly, this is widely leading to disarrayed public perceptions about certain issues which, of course, is not serving Pakistan and the government as well in any way. We have a culture we rise to handle issues when the time is almost over. We should go with the social media as it has emerged as the fast medium of social interaction and information exchange, but it must be regulated under some mechanism. The relevant authorities need to draft an effective policy framework so that the credibility, quality and effectiveness of the contents released on social media are monitored.

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