Social media can be defined as the applications that facilitate their users to initiate and spread information

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Social media may be described as apps that make it easier for users to initiate and disseminate information or to participate in networking. Examples of those apps include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snap Chat. This social media sites are seen as the future of communication. Social networking formats have made it possible for people to share text messages, audios and videos. The value of these sites is helpful both to everyday consumers and to business people’s marketing processes. Social media are creating a forum in which users can publicly share their thoughts, desires, opinions and portray to everyone who you are. Twitter, Facebook, websites and other platforms allow room for one to be creative and have an audience for all that is posted. The following text discusses the way social media enable people to express their feelings and other users using it to insult and threaten others without the panic of punishment (Carlsson 42).

Positive free expression

Social media allows democratization of the information sent through it. This means that the content published on the online site is controlled by the person posting it or the owner of the account. The social media is a valuable channel of free expression as it turns its users to the generators of the information and not only the consumers. The online networks allow people to pass any information they wish to without seeking permission from any person or organization.

Social manners and etiquette in the real world are restrictive, and people feel a sense of limit as they express themselves unlike in the online networks. There is much freedom of speech and expression in online channels of communication since less or no etiquette is observed(Carlsson 42). The information on social media is evaluated and can be removed if need be, but having billions of people using the sites such as YouTube it is impossible to watch, assess and entirely monitor every comment, audio or photo posted on the online sites. This fact portrays the high level of freedom offered by the social media.

Some people find it hard to socialize with other people through face-to-face, the internet provides them a significant channel for communicating without feeling nervous and self-conscious. People have a right to express their thoughts and feelings even those who have less confidence can state their stand boldly. Sometimes when one feels happy, angry, comfortable or sad, he/she can express their feelings eloquently and even obtain a large audience that they could not have found if they had not used online sites. Social media eliminates the hard times faced by some people communicating their ideas and views in a conference room. Hence, a shy person can be able to reach many people, and he/she can sell ideas and stories freely.

Online networks assist in creating self-confidence to people who may be lacking it. When making a face to face communication, people may pose direct criticism, but when using social networks, you may find no one going critical of your message. With the written comments, a healthy debate or discussion is established as one has time to think and compose responses. On the contrary, being criticized in person becomes hard and can cause fear and instead of freely expressing oneself, a person begins to grow defensive. Networking promotes valuable sharing of experiences and ideas openly. In the world today, internet communication has been made accessible through the use of any gadget that can reach the internet.

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have unique keys that enable mobile phone, personal computers, and desktop users to have easy access. Therefore, both children and adults can use social network anytime and at any place hence make social media popular. Members of every age group use the online sites to express themselves without fear. Students chat with teachers, parents and with fellow students as gadgets such as phones are affordable. It is through social media people can freely converse, send texts messages, tag photos and send documents of small sizes instantly using yahoo emails, Facebook, Instagram and other sites. People can meet with new friends from all over the world and share ideas and goals in life(Lipschultz 131).

Negative free expression

People are exposed to bullies where some people insult others without any fear. Joining the social networking sites is free and open since there is no match for any details from the user. To participate, one requires typing the name, email address and birth date in the spaces of the fields available. There is no mechanism for verifying if the information entered is accurate. Hence people join the sites with untrue details such as names and only people who know them can understand who they are. This creates anonymity of who the account owner is. This state of not being identified provides the people with assurance that they cannot be determined and hence they post insults and bully others on the social media. Furthermore, the bullies and those who threaten others are immunized from any punishment since they did not use their details to open the accounts. It is possible to add a person to a group on the social media without his/her consent.

The bullies get information about the people they want to bully or insult and they connect with them where they abuse and threaten their victims. This occurs mostly in students. Bullying also takes the form of posting false information about an individual, making private details about someone public such as photos and sending intimidation texts(Lipschultz 131). Some parents and students freely use the online media to abuse teachers and tarnish their names on social media such as Facebook. This is possible as many learning institutions have opened groups where a lot of information is shared and it is free for anyone to reach the information. Also, employees working in the same company or institution freely use the social media to extend their conflicts from their place of work. Since these workers were initially friends before the conflict began, they were chatting openly on the social media hence during a battle they can easily insult each other over the online sites. They even go to the extent of intimidating one another when one party dares to report the other. Since there is no evidence to connect these people to their accounts in the online media, it is not possible to take any action.

Politicians also use the online channels to sell their manifestos to the public. They freely post their views, beliefs and the development projects they have in mind for their people. Some politicians tarnish the names of the other politicians without fear of investigation. They hurl insults at their fellow politicians since the online media offers privacy to the information posted by their customers.

The individuals who have experienced the wrath of the bullies greatly help in raising the courage of bullies in their evil activities. This is because only a small number of people report these cases to the relevant law enforcers hence few tyrants get apprehended for their actions. Online sites such as Facebook enable users to comment, add pictures, videos and texts and can delete them later from the walls of all those who could observe the post. This makes it possible for people to escape interrogation if what they had posted raises issues since they will have erased the evidence unless the investigator contacts the administrator of that site.

It is through the social media people spread gossips and rumors about others without fear of interrogation. The freedoms of using online networks also allow some people to express views that are morally questionable. Some people attack others by sex, race, religion, level of education and ethnic backgrounds. For instance, terrorists post their intentions freely on social media.

Online channels of information reject the duty of scrutinizing the messages, photos or videos posted by their users. The act that governs communication decency states that social media sites have no accountability for information that is passed through their websites (Lipschultz 131). Social media sites are hence viewed as the primary perpetrators of cyberbullying and insults. People are intimidated and embarrassed by other people where some of them are anonymous.

Conclusion

In conclusion, online websites have been channels that have seen a casual exchange of ideas, goals, and beliefs. Many people who are not comfortable with face-to-face communication have been able to express their feelings and stories with a lot of confidence in the online channels. Social media sites have seen participation in healthy debates and discussions among many people due to an allowance of one composing him/herself. Also, it reduces chances of direct criticism which would otherwise result in people turning defensive in their responses. It has also offered a significant channel for business people to market their companies, products, and services. Job advertisements are done locally and internationally leading to globalization in the business sector due to freedom of expression on Facebook, Twitter and others. However, some people to embarrass and torture other people have also used social media. Bullies have misused the freedom of speech provided by the social media to insult and threaten other people. Students form the largest group of bullies who use online media to harass fellow students. Some parents and students also defame the teachers. The communication act has freed the online media providers from the responsibility of monitoring the information exchanged by their users over the online sites. Social media will remain a valuable channel of freely passing information since the sites involved offer promise privacy to its users. The anonymity of some users, freedom to add or delete posts such as photos, comments, and audios are some of the things that are perpetrating the evil acts of the bullies.

Works Cited

Carlsson, Ulla. Freedom of Expression and Media in Transition: Studies and Reflections in the Digital Age. 2016.

Lipschultz, Jeremy H. Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics. Routledge, 2014.

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