How global the global network is
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Social media do not act equally globally, they are just a part of complex socio-political images that are different in all parts of the world Social media are part of complex socio-political images – different in every part of the world.
After a series of coordinated terrorist attacks late last month, Sri Lanka blocked the site of social media in the country. According to some Western publications, this is the result of a unanimous “unilateral decision” of the government.
The reason – the fear that misinformation and hate speech can spread through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, create confusion and even cause more violence. This is not the first case of limiting – or trying to restrict – social networking for the event.
Political events in various countries around the globe have repeatedly challenged local authorities to “pull the shutter” of Internet access. Not only political. We can easily remember Christchurch Shooter in New Zealand, who broadcasted his offensive behavior on Facebook. After such events, a series of “measures” and a ban are also appearing.
In this case, Australia and New Zealand require stricter regulation of social media. The ban in Sri Lanka assumes that the Internet can have good or bad consequences for the whole society, for statehood. Internet and Democracy In Sri Lanka, some people see social media as the main tool to support democracy after a 26-year civil war between the Buddhist majority and the Tamil minority.
Democracy relies on the flow of information – enough for citizens to make their decisions. However, the social network of Sri Lanka is mostly made up of Facebook and Internet.org. Facebook’s products, especially WhatsApp, are the core of online access.
For the Western world, this is just a small part of the Internet, just some application; For the local population, this is what the “whole” internet is talking about. Being online means using Facebook or WhatsApp. This makes the ban of social media much more significant. The effect is much greater.
For the local community, this means an internet ban at all. That is, the ban on the exchange of information, the ban on the freedom of speech. Such suppression of freedom of expression deepens authoritarianism. Globalization of the Global Network Part of the problem of social media stems from the fact that Western consumers see them as something fixed and united.
Facebook is Osaki, Kansas, and Moscow. Instagram works equally in Dusseldorf and Ontario. The same operating systems for smartphones with the same interfaces are used all over the world. Publication status looks the same in all parts of the world. But is that right?
Actually, this is a handsome myth. Social media do not act equally globally. Paris and Dusseldorf are not the same, even Instagram is. Social media are only part of complex socio-political images that are different in every part of the world.
Calls to regulate Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks call people in specific places, such as Sri Lanka and New Zealand, global social services to work locally. Such a concept is a complex challenge. Includes more than the desire of the local population.
It requires much more than better monitoring of hate speech, quick detection of elements of violence, confrontation with false news. Mark Zuckerberg has always called people in Facebook “community”, but they have never and never been a community.
The social network has many communities – millions even – and thousands of new communities are created in the virtual walls of this space. Whenever the problem of social media arises, an issue of the solution to the problem – the same solutions – opens immediately.
It needs better self-management and responsibility. Greater commitment to local standards and local stakeholders is needed. Regulatory compliance is sought. This raises the question of whether the internet really is a means of developing democracy.
And another, more difficult question: is the global network a truly global information network – the one that in the same way joins the world and all its citizens.
How global the global network is