Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Misinformation Age



The computers arrived. And then came the internet. Before we all knew it, the internet had us in its ever evolving, ever growing, twisted, crisscrossed web.

Now we are much more "connected" than ever. No place is too far, no one is out of reach. I remember a time when it was considered indecent to call someone after 9pm. Now a chat can go on till wee hours.

Standards have changed, the way of communication has changed, in fact what we communicate itself has changed too. With the rise of social networks, strangers have become more approachable, acquaintances more friendly, friends are reachable almost all day, every day. Nearly all information is a search engine query away.

Be it recipes. or beauty tips, science project or history report, dating tips or dumping tutorials, peace rally events or bomb making, all is available on World Wide Web. News from all over the world, views and reactions of people, past, present, to some extent even future are all over in the internet.

Today, every person worth his/her weight in salt is dumping data into the web. So much information is loaded, exchanged, formed, deformed, edited, updated, misinterpreted. There is no control or measure over what is being written, what is being shared. No proof of the authenticity of the information.


 I now have the power to spread a rumor or a twisted idea or a false information, for my own benefit or just for fun, all over the world. Because I have freedom of speech. And I have an internet connection.

Do we believe all we read? Do we crosscheck it? Has it become our nature to find scandals and if not found to make one? Do we rejoice in the downfall of the famous ones? Is slander and back-biting our only hobby?

Have we turned the golden information age in misinformation age?