Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee



Social Media and Terrorism
Terrorists have been using and abusing media for long. It is one their major tools for progation and survival. Increasingly they are using social media. The case of Social Media is special because of its special constructs. It can simultaneously be private and public. The accessibility is instant and the scale is global. Social media activity can blur the boundaries between personal, professional and public lives. The line separating freedom of speech and inappropriate posting may be unclear to most of its user. As anybody can create content and circulate it at a global scale instantly, which could again be multiple-circulated by many, it becomes a very potent tool for anybody wanting to plant rumours and propaganda.

Some of the major fault lines of Social Media are: A. It is very easy to produce and disseminate content on Social Media. New technologies have not only made it possible to produce propaganda with astonishing ease – they have also made it far easier to disseminate these films and images. B. It can fan Frenzy, and C. It polarizes opinion

Terrorist organisations’ use of social media has been a matter of grave concern for countries across the world. Security experts, Policy makers are trying to engage with the issue.

What the users of social media should do?

  1. Use common sense. Nine out of ten times one can detect fake from real if one applies common sense. If some offer seems too good to be true it is most probably false. Run a background check.
  2. Don’t forward anything that comes your way. Think if it is true or would it harm/benefit anybody or any organization or the social stability.
  3. Don’t give in to rumours. Check for authenticity. Even photographs could be manipulated to look like real. There are ways to check authenticity. Learn those ways.
  4. Remember, social media is covered under IT Act. And not knowing the rules is no defence against flouting rules.

Twenty Five

Twenty Five in human life is an important age. You are at the peak of your youth. You have also started maturing. The exuberance of youth and maturity of age is a great combination to move ahead and do wonders.

Twenty five years for an institution may not be much, but it sure is enough to establish the credentials and set the direction. It is time to celebrate. It is also the time take a hard and clear look at the discipline the institution is engaged in. It is time to rejoice and to look within and forward.

As Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal, Odisha, the second oldest campus of IIMC, where I work reached that age and organised its Silver Jubilee Ceremony of IIMC on 27 and 28 February a galaxy of media persons, academicians, thinkers converged and had a two day long discussion spread over 7 sessions. Ideas were generated to take this discipline further.

Jyoti, the Centre for Visually Impaired

On the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of IIMC, Dhenkanal a Centre for Visually Impaired was inaugurated at its campus on 28 February. Named Jyoti, This centre will be helpful for visually challenged, not only for communication studies but also in every kind of empowerment.

Set up with the financial assistance of Indian Oil Corporation as their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative, this is one of its kind in the entire Eastern India.

Inaugurating the centre Sri PC Chaubey, ED of Indian Oil Corporation said that it is possible to make such centres in India and that he would personally take the initiative to do so.  He remarked that he was sure that their collaboration with the institute was not a one-step event but a continuous process.

Tailpiece: Wife

Wife was driving.

Husband: Why don’t use indicators when you take a turn?

Wife: What do you mean by indicators? Why should I?

Husband: So that other drivers know which way you are going?

Wife: Where I am going is none of their business.

Husband: Sorry…

(Courtesy: Social Media)


The author is a journalist turned media academician. He lives in Central Odisha town Dhenkanal. He also writes fiction.  English translation of his Odia novel Yamraj Number 5003 is being published shortly. [email protected]