USE SOCIAL MEDIA RESPONSIBLY
The #metoo revolution has taken the country by storm. Everybody is talking about #metoo and talking about the consequences that the industry has to face on account of the various conversations that actresses have had with the media. While it is something that needs to be supported and a movement that needs to be talked about, what is the cause of alarm? Is the fact that a lot of these accounts are actually anonymous in the time and age where digital news and social media has become the first conversation for any news to break and any news to be reported?
It is the prerogative of the media to be vigilant and to ensure that nobody is misusing the fact that the digital age is empowering not just women across the country to come out and speak openly about their accounts but anybody and everybody who wants to be heard. For someone who leads a website and reports about not just #metoo but everyday Bollywood news and everyday Bollywood conversation, whether it is trail information or whether it is personal information that leads to gossips or interviews. Day by day websites and the digital medium is trivializing important conversations that need to be had and it needs to actually have a medium that is more and more vigilant. The #metoo movement has also taught us one thing which is, today an actor or an actress can use his or her social media to start a campaign or a revolution. You don’t really need a manager and PR agents who will have this conversation for you, a simple tweet, an instagram upload or a facebook post can become a conversation and can possibly start a national revolution.
In the case of Tanushree Dutta, she spoke to a lifestyle entertainment channel and spoke about her conversation regarding her experience pertaining to her issue with Nana Patekar and the film but that became an example and it set the ball rolling for several other women to come out and talk about their own stories or being victims at the hands of perpetrators who had misused their position and power.
What I find alarming is the fact that nobody wants to fact check and nobody wants to actually carry out a research and get information on how authentic are these claims that some of these actresses/models have made. It is a very dangerous age that we are living in; a single tweet, a single instagram upload or a facebook post can actually damage and scar careers of professional individuals and the media and the film industry world for their entire life whether it is Anirban Blah of KWAN, whether it is Sajid Khan or numerous other people who might in future be named and whose names might be dropped. The media, especially the digital media, needs to be cautious and extremely vigilant about the tonality and of the coverage that they are providing to this particular movement.
I also think that 2018 has been the year where social media has not only become the 5th pillar of the media but one of the most empowering medium which can be of a great advantage but can also get misused if it is in the hands of the wrong people. As an editor for a website that reports on Bollywood developments every day, we at BollywoodLife are extremely vigilant and sensitive on the tonality and the headlines and the conversation that we are having with our readers and I think it is very important as we enter a new era of digital revolution where news channel and print newspapers are all going to sort of percolate into their digital peripherals. It is very important that those who are heading these digital peripherals and digital properties are being responsible enough to make sure that there is no misuse of the medium or their power.
Having said that, I think #Metoo is a classic example of how social media today has not just become a place for moral policing but it has also become a place where individuals can be empowered and we can make correct use of it if we have a reason to speak out and if they need support of the media to sort of come intervene and take stock of what is happening. I think next year, 2019, is going to be a year of bigger revolution where actors and actresses might actually realise that time has changed and we are living in a different era and not just realize the power that the digital medium hold but also make good use out of it. I hope that producers, production houses and actors and actresses that include not just the big stars like Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir, Katrina, Priyanka, Alia but even the new comers, the younger lot, all make sure that they have a conversation on their social media platform and accounts and not just use these platforms to market themselves and as tools for publicity and PR.