Facebook journalism in Kashmir

It is total chaos. Rumors push the panic button and we end up buying these fake stories from their stores. Neither they are professional nor reasonable, yet we trust them blindly. We blame them for sprouting the seeds of rumours, equally are we responsible for sharing it too.

The micro-blogging site Facebook is turning out to be the headache in Kashmir. Everyone is reporting from so called ground zero. Some report from their cozy rooms and those who really are at the right place act brutally wrong.

Now-a-days Kashmir is going through another uncertain phase. It always has been, but this one demands more patience and sanity than most of the occasions.

Yes! We are talking about the unfortunate braid chopping incidents.

Young girls of the Valley are going through the psychological disharmony. Recently, I came to know that many females have started keeping knives and other sharp instruments in their rooms to defend themselves.

And, at present, more than a braid chopper it is these pseudo-journalists or ‘Facebook fighters’ of Kashmir who are adding more mist to the already polluted airs.

First and formost neither they have any experience nor the authority to prepare or broadcast the news.

First thing first, to be aware of your surroundings, you need to get out of your cozy rooms. If you are sitting idle, that by no means allows you share the product of your devil’s workshop on internet.

Journalism is a profession and it requires extensive knowledge and studies. And, like any other profession, you need a university degree, not a micro-blogging account.

Holding a Facebook account doesn’t allow you to spread rumors. You don’t confirm a thing. And, only to be the part of a certain section of a society, you end up being the part of the problem. It is as dangerous as a quack doctor. You are a hoodwinker, a joker.

Nobody denies the fact that braid chopping is a threat and need to be dealt with care and intelligence. The uncertain or doubtful truth will further add to the mental as well as emotional strain of our womenfolk, especially the young ones.

Rumors are pieces of information or a story that has not been verified. And, most of the times these Facebook journalists do not even care to determine if there’s any truth to what they are writing.

As far as my understanding goes, I feel they only spread rumours either to feel special or fit in with a certain class; only trying to impress others.

This way they gain attention (attention-seekers), feel comfortable, and sometimes to relieve boredom they end up try to be or bring intentional but needless sensation.

I understand sometimes people want to help others. But, we need to measure the gravity of the situation and be cent percent sure of the credibility before disclosing it to others.

It is a chain reaction and you are responsible for either starting or spreading it. Not to forget, it also reduces the credibility of those spreading them.

The environment is already anxious. Instead of helping and being the healers, we are only adding more insult to the wound. Sometimes the problem is not that big, but our rumours magnify it to the level that even the concerned authorities end up in all sorts of dilemmas.

Let the journalists handle the situation. And by journalists, I mean not the hoaxers and rumor brigade. We are turning our Valley into the rumour republic. I request you all to use your typing skills for a good cause. Don’t be the wind that helps to spread the forest fire.

Be reasonable. Be responsible. Be rational. Be judicious. Your groundless reporting is not helping us at all. Kindly shut this department of hearsay and resign from your post of head of department ‘Rumourology’.

Dr Qayum Hamid Changal – qhchangal@gmail.com

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