Social media, though a powerful weapon in people's hands, has a "nasty potential" to divert the attention from the "narrative of development", Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has said. Rao was speaking at a journalism awards function organised by the Mantralay and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh (Association of Secretariat and Legislature Reporters) here last night. In his speech, he highlighted the disruption brought about by social media and the mobile Internet. "While social media is a powerful weapon in the hands of people, it has a flip-side, as it has a nasty potential to deflect the attention of society from the narrative of development, from the ongoing discourse on development," the governor said. It has a tremendous potential to divert the attention of the entire society from the problems and issues faced by the common man and the ordinary people, he added. Social media, coupled with smart phones, has brought about a "disrupting change" in the way the news is created, delivered and consumed, the governor said. "In the past, the news first reached the journalists before reaching the readers in a refined manner.
Today, the news reaches people directly, sometimes even before it reaches the journalists," Rao said. People are thus increasingly consuming raw and unfiltered news, he said. Social media is also misused with a devastating impact to spread lies and provocative news which have adverse impact on social harmony, the law and order and even the unity of the country, he said. "I do feel that mainstream media and all pillars of democracy must view the challenge posed by the new media and devise a collective response. It is the duty of all right-thinking people to restore the focus of public discourse on the real issues of people," he said.
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