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The real power of Social Media August 1, 2007

Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Conversations, Digital.
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This has to be one of the most viewed YouTube videos (comes with strong, profane-language) at the moment. Only a day old, it’s already garnered thousands of views and coverage on CNN.

Here’s the backgrounder:

  • Roman Catholic priest put on leave after verbally abusing skateboarders
  • Skateboarders were using St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne as a skate park
  • Reverend Monsignor Geoff Baron’s outburst filmed and placed on YouTube
  • Baron apologizes, saying skaters provoked him alleging he was a pedophile

While I refuse to take sides of any party or offer comments on who’s right or wrong, what I would reflect on is:

1. The pervasive influence & power of social media. Whether you like it or not, social media is omnipresent and often used to bring out ‘bad’. People need to be aware that their ‘negative’ actions are very likely to be captured and presented to a public domain.
2. With great power comes greater responsibility. It’s great when social media tools are used to fight ‘evil’ and spread word about ‘good’. But what about creating / supporting ‘evil’ in order to spread word about ‘evil’? For example, how ethical is it to offer a bribe to a higher official with the hope of baiting him, so that it can be captured on camera?

What are your thoughts?

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