Social Media: The Virtual Weapon in 21st Century

The virtual world is becoming more powerful than the real world and severe attack of Covid-19 has made it more dominant. According to a report of the “Statista“, a famous statistical portal uncovered that presently active users of social media is more than 3.6 billion in the world. In Bangladesh, more than 96 million people are using the internet and at present 65-70% of people who are connected with the internet are using the new media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tango, Whatsapp, Tumblr, WeChat, Tik-Talk, Likee, etc. The new media has a great impact on a country’s education, politics, entertainment, culture, and what not!

21st generation largely depends on the new media for entertainment and they are addicted to it. This addiction leads to hampering their normal life, study, social life etc. and most of the parents are showing their deepest concern on these issues. Besides, new media leads to severe cultural assault, which leads to increase adolescent crime largely. Recently, activities of adolescents and young people in Likee and Tik-Talk are showing how they are culturally disorientated condition. At the global age, social media is playing a magical role as virtual weapons to change people’s view either positively or negatively because it is easy to reach millions of people within the shortest time, which creates turmoil and affects largely in the administrative and governmental activities of many countries.

Lately in Bangladesh, at the very beginning of any rational movement, the virtual weapon plays supportive roles but later different groups use new media as weapon for spreading fabricated news that agitates the public. In most of the cases, the wicked people use new media to spread hate, rumor, and negativity, which create an unrest situation in the country and deteriorate the country’s discipline. Same news goes viral from different social media in different shape and some of those are fabricated intentionally. Which one is true is tough to identify that create trauma among the citizens of Bangladesh. Sometimes, this leads to scratch the country’s image internationally. 

In addition, the numbers of cybercrimes have increased largely in new media and Bangladesh police have established a cyber-crime unit to tackle this crisis.  Due to cyber stalking and online harassment, many people suffer for a long time, especially women. A report shows that 70% of women from 15-25 ages are suffering from cyber harassment. Recently, Bangladesh Police has arrested a gang of 14 swindlers who are using new media to lure the people and earned crores via blackmailing them.

The new media has created the opportunity to raise voice against all kinds of odds in society. Recently, people raised their voices in the new media against the local representative who was involved in stealing government supports to vulnerable people at the beginning of Covid-19. Attacks of virtual weapons are forcing the local representatives to distribute the government supports by maintaining transparency.

 This weapon has used against the swindlers who are cheating with general people in the severe crisis of the Corona Virus by providing fake corona reports or certificates. People show their agitation against those fraud people who are smashing the country systems for their self-interest. At present, a burning issue in our country is the Late Major Sinha killing incident and people of all segments are showing their rage and agitation in social media of this incident. More specifically the social media has made it as talk of the country even creates a global tension, which might lead to justice to the occurrence that happened with him. 

The new media has a great impact on a country election whether developed or developing country. Any governments of the world are in fear of the new media movement than physical movement. In 2016, the global people witnessed the influence and presence of social media in the campaign of the USA election. The USA presidential election in 2016 is considered as the first true social media election. B. Paul in his surveys showed that 44% of USA adults have learned and obtained knowledge about the country’s election from social media. Social media worked as Trump Card during the USA presidential election 2016.

Before the declaration of the election result, a minor portion of people thought that Trump would be the president of the USA but social media made it possible by changing the people’s perception. Many pro-Trump stories went viral in social media during the time of the USA Presidential election and most of the stories were false, which developed an advantageous field of the campaign for the Trump to change the people’s perceptions. It revealed from the different survey by the Buzz feed and the Guardian that there were 100 portals those spread rumor in favor of Trump only in the Macedonia city those run by teenagers. The political specialist and analyst warned that in the next USA presidential election the social media might be the biggest factor. 

From the above analysis, to at large extent it is understandable about the impact of the new media in education, politics, entertainment, culture, etc. segments of the world. The concept of a military-based superpower by using weapons might change in the future and it might be replaced on the control of the new media largely. 

(The different sources of information are acknowledged with gratitude)

Writer: Md. Jahir Uddin

Researcher & Team Leader Issheghuri Foundation,

e-mail: [email protected]

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