Social media, once again, has proven to be a tool requiring utmost care and a responsible usage. This time for the Assamese heartthrob celebrity singer Angarag Mahanta, popularly known as Papon, the Facebook Live has emerged as the tool landing him somewhere in the hot water of a controversy of lifetime. Whether guilty or not, that one live video on FB possessed enough power to color him in any way his rivals would have wanted, if any.
I, as a digital & social media strategist, personally feel that Angarag is an unfortunate guy with the very common Digital Hypochondria. He couldn’t quite tame the FB Live as he thought he would. Evident from his last few glitches in his FB Live videos that he called live chats, proves this further.
Here’re the best practices for FB Live Video streaming as listed by Facebook itself: https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/best-practices/live
Here’s a video from one of Papon’s FB Live Videos (chats, as he called):
As I teach my Mass Comm. & Journalism students about the fair and responsible social media usage, I do advocate the same for everyone. Wish Angarag too had been little careful & responsible during that FB live holi video.
To mention, the case of Angarag Papon Mahanta is not the 1st one to create such a havoc under the purview of social media, there are indeed many. Remember Anthony Weiner who ruined his political career with a simple tweet? Axelle Despiegelaere who lost her L’Oreal contract? How about the Shaheen Dhada and Renu from Mumbai?
- Anthony Weiner: The US representative came under internet rage when his bare-chested tweet image went viral in the year 2011. Ultimately, he had to resign from his post and put a sorrow end to his political career. This was one of the classic cases of poor and irresponsible use of social media.
- Axelle Despiegelaere: Another important case of social media backfiring was of Ms. Axelle Despiegelaere. She landed on a L’Oreal modelling contract when her picture from the FIFA final match went viral. After a few days her contract was terminated and L’Oreal reportedly cut the ties with her because of another social media post about hunting an animal that she made on FB.
- Shaeen Dhada and Renu: Two Mumbai girls were arrested in the year 2012 during Bal Thakrey’s funeral for a post on FB. Shaheen Dhada, the first girl, discussed the funeral and the citywide halt in a post on FB and her friend Renu liked that post. They were arrested under the IPC section 505(2) for the statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes. Later they got out on bail. This was the first huge case of arrests made solely on the basis of FB posts in India.
So, here are the lessons we should learn from these 4 (four) incidents of irresponsible social media usage:
A. Judge your posts well before posting,
B. Be careful of what you post,
C. Be responsible for what you post,
D. Be sure of the sources and credibility before posting anything controversial,
E. Stay away from venting out personal/professional anger/issues on social media,
F. Learn the basics of the social media platform first, don’t just jump in.
- In case of defamation issues under IPC section 499, social media posts are valid proofs,
- One might come under the wrath of section 66A of Indian IT Act as well for defamatory, inappropriate posts, though it is widely debated and recently discredited,
- Section 124A (Sedition Act) also might come into force taking any social media post as an evidence,
- There are 100s of other laws ranging from child molestation to forgery to copyright issues where social media posts serve as valid proofs and admissible as evidence.
So, be careful of and responsible for what you upload on social media sites. There might be times when being guilty or not won’t be taken into account, only the message will go viral and it will be an endless loop unless it deteriorates the societal/professional status of the uploader/poster to an extreme level.