Category Archives: Social Media

J-POD || Podcast || “Facebook’s deals with newsrooms, big editors’ proximity to its execs has prevented Indian media from investigating its BJP bias” || Kunal Purohit on ‘WSJ’ and ‘Time’ revelations

20 years ago, “Web 2.0” ushered in social media. It was free, it was fast, it was fun. Anybody with a phone could take part, and almost everyone did. It instantly connected friends, families, communities. Major political events like the ‘Arab Spring’ in Egypt briefly showed the potential of interactive, user-generated content to be a…

A “big propaganda” campaign of “slander and vilification” driven by “malice and prejudice” which was “wrong and motivated”: ‘Deccan Herald’ holds the mirror to the media on Tablighi Jamaat

The coverage of the #TablighiJamaat congregation in Delhi—the shameless attempt to give the #Coronavirus outbreak a communal angle—was one of the more egregious examples of a majoritarian media that has lost its moral, social and professional moorings. India’s brain-dead TV “news” channels, of course, led the pack, with “shows” titled Corona Jihad se desh bachao (save India…

“Hold Facebook accountable. Misuse of social media a threat to democracy. Platforms must be agnostic to ideology”: newspaper editorials can’t hide weak reporting

Four days after The Wall Street Journal revealed Facebook’s chief India lobbyist Ankhi Das batting for BJP’s hate mongers, Indian newspapers are unable to add to a story that has deep implications for Indian society and polity. Also read: FB expose reveals barren cupboard ** Even today, there are no revelations and even today only…

Lead story in just 2 newspapers, and not one new insight in any: How the Facebook expose by WSJ also reveals Indian media’s barren cupboard

The August 14 expose in The Wall Street Journal of Facebook’s schmoozing with the BJP-led NDA government, by promoting hate speech for “business prospects”, has deep implications for Indian society, polity and democracy. Three days on, after the Independence Day holiday for some, the coverage of the issue in Indian newspapers is illustrative of their…

Facebook, BJP and Narendra Modi: The real story about the ‘WSJ’ expose is not just Ankhi Das’s role, but how FB began meddling in Indian politics before 2014

Facebook’s shady role in Indian politics—hunting with the majoritarian hounds and fuelling the communal fires, for a price—has been blazingly apparent for over eight years now. But it has taken a devastating expose in The Wall Street Journal to reveal why Indian media has been so disinterested in such a juicy story. The August 14 WSJ…

J-POD || Podcast || “In 1962, media was more independent, less subservient. It lampooned Nehru, Krishna Menon mercilessly. Modi is trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by managing headlines” || Jairam Ramesh

*** When WhatsApp becomes the chief source of information, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that India was a mere 15 years old as a free nation when China invaded in 1962. An impressionable teenager, whose population was 45 crores, whose GDP was a mere $4,200 crore. On the other hand, when China intruded…

J-POD || Podcast || “Indian TV is not a force-multiplier in Nepal, it’s a force-subtractor. Its sexism, misogyny and ultra-nationalism is ruining India’s ties not just with Nepal but also with China” || ‘Himal’ founder Kanak Mani Dixit

*** Even the most uninformed Indian might be able to understand India’s troubles with Pakistan and China. But even a genius will find it difficult to make sense of India’s current relationship status with Nepal. When it came to power in 2014, the BJP-led NDA government was naturally expected to develop deeper linkages with what was…

J-POD || Podcast || “Twitter has not followed due process in withholding account. FIR on a retweet had details very few people know. BJP tends not to focus on quality of content but punishment they will try to inflict” || Aakar Patel

https://soundcloud.com/user-311470525/j-pod-aakar-patel-on-twitter  On J-POD, a podcast on journalists and journalism, Aakar Patel, columnist and former journalist who headed Amnesty International, discusses what he makes of Twitter withholding his account, and who he suspects might be behind it—and why. *** # Twitter emailed me that they had received a “legal removal demand” from the government, that my…

J-POD || Podcast || “COVID has given us a brain scan of media thinking. National newspapers devote 0.67% of front page to 69% of India. Corporate media is the bed on which religious and market fundamentalists cohabit” || P. Sainath

*** Less than 2% of India’s population is invested in stocks and mutual funds. Yet, India has at least half-a-dozen business newspapers in English. And just as many business news channels. Every newspaper in every language, in every part of the country, has a page—or half of page—dedicated to business news. Or what they think is business…

J-POD || Podcast || “Journalism is a form of public service. It is dangerous to undermine institutional news. All of us need to become more critical readers and users of social media”|| Alan Rusbridger, former Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian

*** The role of social media in distorting societies by pouring unfiltered information directly into the pockets and phones of users has been evident for nearly a decade now.  But it took the American presidential elections of 2016—which installed Donald Trump in office—for Google, Facebook and YouTube to come in for scrutiny.  At first, Mark…