Social Media Monitoring, The New Way To Keep Track Of Events
Today, social websites have started to create waves but this is only to be expected given their exponential growth in the last few years. These social websites have grown so much that they have started to impact electronic media. While electronic media could be termed to be an effective means of communication a decade ago, that no longer holds any water, for the simple reason that social media get the latest news hours ahead of any electronic media.
Apart from being the first to get the latest news [from politics to entertainment], these networking sites have actually started to have an impact on geo-politics and other factors; in short, these websites are actually having an impact on how people think and react. Apart from affecting electronic media, government agencies have started to use social media to monitor electronic media and current events. As a result, lawsuits have been filed against certain government agencies in order to get them to be transparent about the process.
The Egyptian revolution is a perfect example of networking websites influencing local politics. The call for a revolution against Hosni Mubarak first made its appearance on social media websites, thanks to an innovative reformist. And that was enough to kick start an entire revolution, so much so, that it only took a few months for the Egyptian government to resign and for Hosni Mubarak to go into Exile in Sharma el-Sheikh.
In addition, most of these websites are easily accessible by mobile and multiple platforms, enabling members to upload news, pictures and graphic videos. in an instant, thereby creating an instant sensation. Furthermore, these websites make it possible for web users to share the news with their friends and associates, thereby increasing the instagram followersfree and gaining the viewer base. Naturally, governments worldwide are not too happy about the impact that social media seem to have on geo-politics and other government decisions. As a result, they have started to monitor these websites round-the-clock for any information that may prove to be inimical to their domestic and international policy decisions.
Of late, things came to a head when Congress started to discuss two bills, aimed at reducing internet piracy. Both these bills, SOPA [Stop Online Piracy act] and the PIPA [Protect IP act] were aimed at websites hosting pirated content. The problem is that most websites including and not limited to social media have no optimum method to per-verify any content before it is posted on to their website. Naturally, given the broad contours of these bills, social media as a whole would stand to be affected and nearly all the websites would be blocked out.
Given this, it was but natural for social media to impress the idiocy in going ahead with these bills now and to emphasize this; these websites went AWOL, making the point “All or nothing”. And the US congress, in a welcome change, decided to shelve these bills for the moment. This is not to mean that these bills will not come up later for discussion again but one hopes that when they do, they would dot the I’s and cross the T’s. It would indeed be idiotic for any government to try to control online content while under the guise of protecting intellectual property.