Ok ok before you pound me with details and all the cool things Twitter is, please, I do use the social media too quiet regularly. Sometimes too regularly. My question is more about what this service, this tool really means.
During height of Arab discontent earlier this year, social media utilities like Twitter, Facebook, blogs played crucial role in organizing people, spreading the message and informing the people and the world of what was happening. They were one of the many pillars that supported the movement, from Tunisia to Egypt and Syria.
The struggle is alive, Egypt is not happy and Syria is still captive and social media is a big part.
Where is social media in Nepal and Nepali issues?
I am not sure. Earlier this year, a well known Nepali blog Mysansar was threatened by Nepal Press Council, after Chaudhary Group complained to them that the blog had maligned their name.
Even though blogs do not fall under the Council’s jurisdiction, they overreached and engaged in a behavior that is way beneath their stature. Chaudhary Group also emerged as this industrial powerhouse incapable of respecting free speech and all too eager to flex it’s muscles to intimidate dissenters.
Now the CEO of the same Chaudhary Group has joined the Twitter family.Welcome and here are the hard questions? Or may be not.
He received a red carpet treatment, some tweets welcoming him read like cheesy fan mails.
And some more. Although someone questioned weather he will be able to handle the democratic playing field of social media, nothing uncomfortable, nothing challenging.
I have nothing personally against Mr Chaudhary, it is the conduct of his company that bothered me. Among his followers are some well known bloggers and journalists. So far, they have not asked him a single question about the Mysansar incident.
So then what is the point of Twitter and other social media tool? Citizens in Arab world are using it to demand democracy, what are we doing with it? Other than rolling out the red carpet for an industrialist who company has no respect for free speech.
And to add to the strange situation, Nepali tweetosphere was outraged when Mysansar was bullied. Now we have the opportunity to question the company and it’s leader about the incident and everyone seems too star struck to utter a sensible word. Pitiful!