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DNA Exclusive: Is social media changing our personality and way of thinking?


New Delhi: We all use social media platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp as we do not pay for their services. We only pay for internet data. However, you will be surprised to know that these social media websites are now controlling your likes, dislikes, and your behaviour.  For these social media companies, we are like a product and they are virtually dictating our choices. Not only this, they are even trying to mold our thoughts to vote in favour of a particular political party during elections. 

Sounding strange? But this is the reality that most of us are not aware of. The DNA analysis will explain to you how companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have started interfering with the political system of countries. These companies have become so powerful that they can even topple an elected government in a country by spreading fake news, thereby, creating fake anger among people against the ruling dispensation. 

The most recent example of the same can be witnessed in the violent protests against the Citizenship Law earlier this year in India. We often think that Google is a search engine and Facebook is a medium to connect with friends. If you think so, the DNA report will change your opinion. 

Of late, a debate across the world is being heard that Facebook and Twitter are working in favor of a particular party or ideology? Earlier this month, the Indian Parliament’s standing committee summoned Facebook India’s head Ajit Mohan and some MPs asked many questions and sought clarification from him. Here are some startling facts that would surprise you. 

Just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Facebook deleted about 700 pages of the Congress, but their total number of followers was mere around 2 lakhs. It also removed 15 pages supporting BJP, but the number of followers on these pages was close to 2.6 million.

Although India is seeking help from some outside agencies for check facts posted on Facebook, the officials working there are also linked to a particular ideology and some of these are associated with political parties.

The Fact Checkers for Facebook themselves have spread fake news many times. Prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, a rumour about new airports in the country was spread by Facebook’s Fact Checker. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had then said that 35 airports have been built in the last 4 years, but Facebook’s Fact Check website termed it a false claim and said that only 7 new airports have been built. The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had to issue a statement to clarify it. 

It has also seen that Facebook does not delete hate speeches of the leaders of a particular ideology despite repeated requests. These speeches belong to Asaduddin Owaisi and Kanhaiya Kumar. Some MPs sought answers to these allegations from Facebook officials but their responses are yet to come.

Startling revelations have also been made about the top officials associated with Facebook India. The information submitted before the meeting of the standing committee of Parliament are:  

1. Ajit Mohan, MD, Facebook India, worked with the Planning Commission during the UPA government. He was also associated with the Ministry of Urban Development during the UPA regime. Ajit Mohan became the MD of Facebook just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

2. Another Facebook official, Siddharth Mazumdar, heads the public policy team. Siddharth is said to be very close to Congress party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel.

3. Kavita KK of Facebook India has also worked with an opposition party’s MP from 2015 to 2017.

4. Manish Khanduri has been the news partnership head of Facebook. He left Facebook before the 2019 Lok Sabha election and contested from Garhwal Lok Sabha seat of Uttarakhand on the Congress ticket.

These are the lesser-known facts associated with Facebook India, but the information that this social media platform is changing our personality and the way of thinking may further surprise you. Some former employees of Google, Facebook, and Twitter understood to have stated that what they had created has now become something else.

Based on their statements, a documentary has also been made. They opine that Internet companies keep an eye on you all the time. They record every data related to you and even know about your mood. Not only this, but they also keep a record of what is going on in your personal life and which people you meet.

After knowing these personal details, they can try to change your behaviour also. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have built big data centers to keep the information of millions of people through Artificial Intelligence.

The world is gradually becoming aware of these developments. In a surprise decision today, the Thailand government ordered to initiate legal action against Google and Facebook. Earlier, a Thailand court ordered the removal of 3000 content on Facebook and Youtube. The content that included Fake News and pornographic material was being spread apparently to change the thinking of people. 

We feel that we are making decisions on our own, but actually, those decisions are imposed on our minds due to social media. Cyber ​​experts say that social media posts should be shared very thoughtfully.

The three main goals of any social media company are engagement, under which people get used to it. Then comes growth, in which people become the medium for its expansion as they form a network with their friends. The most important is Revenue that is earned through advertisements that we saw. At this stage, Facebook completely takes control of your behavior. 

People across the world are currently following social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are getting closer to each other on social media. Facebook has emerged as the most favorite social media platform for the people in India with over 35 crore users. 

Since India has the highest number of Facebook users in the world, it is estimated that these numbers will increase to 45 crores by 2023. 

WhatsApp is the second most preferred social media platform in India after Facebook with more than 30 crore users, while Instagram is currently used by about 10 crore people, according to DataReportal.





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