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Social Media, a tool for Empowering powerless and Voiceless

What excites me about web 2.0 (a new media platform which allow participatory information sharing, user-generated content and turns communication into an interactive dialogue) is that it possesses a great potential as a resource for freedom of expression and serves as a platform for dialogue across borders and allow for innovative approaches to the distribution and acquisition of knowledge. Fidel Castro rightly said that ‘Socialism’ in Central Europe failed because people received more information than necessary. He also realised that information has great power and it is the extreme use of present communication technologies like social media which has, to a greater extent challenged authorities especially in authoritarian regimes like China and Iran. Social media and citizen journalists have succeeded in creating awareness levels and egged people on the ground to pull people out of the rubble and fight for free speech. The best thing about social media (web 2.0) is that it acts as an early warning and the rallying cry for mobilization.

Social media and web 2.0 (internet and other allied tools) permits an unprecedented empowerment of the individual so have been termed as “liberate technologies” because new media has a potential to take forward freedom even in the face of oppression like in Middle-East and China. Doubtlessly it is this feature, together with the speed and global character of the internet that has made many governments worry about granting citizens right to freedom of expression. In present era, every citizen is a reporter, so increasing communication technology has provided them an opportunity to promote their voices, reinforce alliance and has accelerated the pace of change which was otherwise difficulty two decades ago. As society is becoming increasingly dynamic, with access to information playing a growing role, having many diverse connections will be key in future. These new diverse outlets will lead users discussing world news or other information on various sites regarding anything in a jiffy. New media has defied borders and nationalities and can provide an alternate voice to voiceless and become a platform for empowerment of women all over the world.

And I believe web 2.0 has an ability to create a forum for discussion and that discussion would then create uproar by netizens on a particular issue (women, political or economic). Blogging and microblogging on Social Networking sites on women’s issues the world around has and can stir hot debates like we saw in case Halima and Nilima Raut. Web 2.0 has made it possible for anyone to publish online cheaply and efficiently without hassles unlike traditional media. Web 2.0 can help empowering women globally by proclaiming their miseries, letting people know of the atrocities and finding solutions.

With this we can launch new websites built around the concept of community conversation like ‘The Rafiki Club’. We can offer blogs, photo galleries and certain other publishing tools to everyone in our communities and ask visitors to come onto a particular webpage and interact in our space. This will help us making our message better and reaching to larger audiences. Using web 2.0, we will be able to mirror and magnify all good, bad and ugly about our societies. We can have instantaneous feedback and interaction with anyone on any issue.

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Comments

stephaniecubbon's picture

Hi Sumera, Thanks for your

Hi Sumera,
Thanks for your thoughtful post! You nicely outlined many ways in which Web 2.0 is a tool of empowerment for everyone. You also brought in many real life examples from around the world. What I would like to know is, what how has Web 2.0 impacted you personally, and how can the tools of Web 2.0 be empowering for you?

laurabstull's picture

Beautifully written! You've

Beautifully written!

You've gone into great detail about your thoughts on the benefits of Web 2.0, and you've written it articulately and concisely. Well done!

Laura

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