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Social Media and polarization of society

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Social Media has witnessed a mushroom growth that has impacted the discourse of political, cultural and religious systems by providing the equal opportunity of freedom of expression and of sharing an opinion or viewpoint on any issue.

Social Media has played a greater role in rightwing politics that paved the way for populist politicians to reach out to their voters.

Though Social Media has connected the people around the world, at the same time, it is causing division or disintegration and facilitating the social media lobbyists to polarize the communication so much the people support the arguments or opinions or political tirades against leaders without fact checking.

The world has been rocked by social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube because the users of these social networks have already surpassed millions and are growing, but due to the limited regulatory framework, fake news, cyberbullying, extremism and terrorism has reached new heights.

The influencers’ interactions with social media users have polarized the political and social circles that led to the formation of online echo chambers, a tactic of social media recommendations by politicians to influence the users to strengthen their narrative regardless of facts that whether it is right or wrong, but it is knit in a manner that echo chambers appear to be normal for the people thus changing the way of thinking and increasing the supporters base.

The echo chambers post such content that we enjoy a lot while reading, while keeping us away from the content that may stir a debate or arguments or expression of our disagreement over certain social, economic, religious, cultural or policy matters.

The echo chambers keep ideas flowing on a regular basis to the one side –the positive side of the argument, while its negative side is deliberately concealed to hide the facts.

This is the big issue that might be discussed with students, who should be informed and taught at school, college or degree level so that positive and constructive use of this digital medium could be ensured.

Social media connectivity around the world is undoubtedly amazing but the problems it created for both people and students are very dangerous, and need to be addressed and regulated.

Digital media, especially social media, for a long time remained unbridled to post any content that may fall in the purview of hatred, racism, bullying, derogatory remarks, character assault, rebellion, or anti-state elements instigating people to create chaos using the olive branch of social media. Since it was not monitored given the type of content being circulated and the information of people posting such content, including their motives behind such content as may have a constant flow of information that is recommended by the users pretending to be professionals, experts and mentors.

Alarmingly, people without fact-checking go on sharing the content and thus creating hype for such an issue as does not have a basis and was the result of a conspiracy to exert pressure on some person or leaders to get some favours.

The schools and colleges should chalk out the initiative to create awareness and practice of fair use so that social platforms should not post single or one-sided opinions or arguments but should welcome both so that positive use could be ensured. This will further the importance of social media.

Sometimes, the active echo chambers or volcanoes erupt over such issues as may be beneficial for the wider circle of society, but this finds serious criticism masterminded by people with an individual approach. They term it detrimental for them since it did not serve their interests, though it might have been beneficial for general people.

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Humans have an intuitional inclination to communicate with like-minded people or the people with the same choices on social media, thus the echo chambers get even stronger. The discourse that discourages dissenting voices always comes under fire from the thinkers and intellectuals of the nation since it is tantamount to concealing the facts from the people.

The world is coming closer after the covid-19 pandemic that engulfed the entire world, bringing misery and economic crisis. The social media debates go with biased and unbiased approaches regarding getting the vaccine. Some optimists termed it great, while some pessimists or biased approaches raised questions.

The echo chambers try to influence their opinions and win support.Similarly, echo chambers of both Democrats and Republicans only canvassed for their candidates but the leaders instigated the masses to attack Capitol Hill through social media and emotional speeches using their influence on social media, especially Twitter .

Some researchers have found that echo chambers influence people to win support but social media influencers have a follower-base of millions, and may polarize the public and politics, since influencers share success stories like internet marketers compelling you to buy their products.

The opinion leaders and experts reveal that for the last two decades, the percentage of American people having consistently holding liberal or conservative beliefs— rather than a blend of the two, which is the case for most people— has increased from 10 percent to over 20. Beliefs about the other side are becoming more negative creating an alarming situation.

Since 1994, the number of people who see the opposing political party as a threat to “the nation’s well-being or security” has doubled, which heralds how deepening polarization has predictable results raising eyebrows.

The government shutdowns, violent protests, scathing attacks on elected officials, the capitol Hill incident –all indicate that social media have been polarizing the political system and divided the nation each passing day due to echo chambers of both mainstream parties regarding the issues of health, security, human rights, employment and environment.

According to evidence from empirical research conducted on US politicians, politicians following extreme ideologies attracted a larger public audience than those who were moderate, which is the real example of echo chambers.

Usually, messages containing extreme thoughts, emotional instigation, patriotism, or criticizing the opposition received a warm welcome on social media platforms than those messages reflecting merely information.

The polarization of issues and political ideology will have serious repercussions in future that should be addressed on a timely basis so that societies could be saved from further isolation and disintegration.

The issues could be resolved through educating the people and creating awareness about the fair and professional use of social media channels for advocacy for winning support for legislation, an issue, a policy or employment.

Instead of showing the dark side of the issue, we have to educate people regarding both pros and cons of matters of importance for the general public rather than misleading the people with biased approaches to oppose the initiative of the government, community or civil society for the general benefit.

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Social Media network operators are the bigwigs and the most influential in this.They cannot be controlled but only  be regulated by framing such laws that  may ensure fair use of this digital platform and are careful so that users may not face any legal issue by discussing sensitive issues such as desecration of holy places, religions, personalities, anti-state tirades, rebellion, terrorism, extremism and so on. The sensitive issue may stir protests and cause legal proceedings, if the cyber-regulatory laws are implemented to discourage the influence of one-sided opinions or campaigns.

We cannot deny the importance of social media platforms as they provide equal opportunity to people to express and share their thoughts or opinions, but safe and thoughtful use of these platforms will encourage healthy discourse and prove pivotal in promoting dialogue to discuss social, economical and cultural issues peacefully without hitting the sentiments of other communities.

Thus, echo chambers will be less powerful to build a narrative that is appealing but the readers will be engaging themselves in the debates that need interaction.

Undoubtedly, social media platforms have changed the political and social approach of the people and enabled face-to-face digital interaction through video and audio conference calls, so their fair use will mitigate their cons manifold.

The social media networks apply algorithms to connect you with like-minded people but it is up to you whether your engagement in communication is either unbiased or biased.

Social media should be promoting positive discourse to explore the political and economic solutions to the problems of people by reflecting the two sides of the coin so that the discourse be constructive and problem-solving. Social media has given a voice to marginalized people and governments are compelled to resolve the issues of people on a priority basis due to trending topics of social media.

Even the populist leaders may face resistance from social media as the public makes the most of the freedom of expression and criticizes the role of politicians for their failure to address the issues of the public.

In recent times, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been creating history in highlighting issues of both public and national interest but at the same time such platforms have been taken by storm by those influencers who continue to feed the news about their vested interests and create psychosocial hype for any issue that may jolt the power corridors of Government.

The politicians always take to Twitter for their precise viewpoint and policy debate and are usually followed by millions of followers. Even the print and electronic media take the tweets as policy statements or the narrative of some party or group.

The schools and colleges should chalk out the initiative to create awareness and practice of fair use so that social platforms should not post single or one-sided opinions or arguments but should welcome both so that positive use could be ensured. This will further the importance of social media.

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China

Baidu Executive Resigns After Controversial “I’m Not Your Mum” Outburst

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Recently, a senior executive at Baidu, which is China’s most popular search engine, resigned from her position due to a public scandal. The videos that surfaced on social media showed her behaving inappropriately and disrespectfully towards her subordinates, which caused widespread outrage among the public. This incident has triggered a broader discussion about workplace culture and the treatment of employees in China’s tech industry, highlighting the need for better practices and ethical standards.

The executive in question, Wang Zhi, who served as Baidu’s head of public relations, posted several videos on the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo, in which she could be seen reprimanding and mocking her subordinates. In one particularly controversial clip, Wang can be heard saying, “I’m not your mum, so don’t expect me to take care of you like one.”

The videos quickly went viral, with many viewers expressing outrage at Wang’s behavior and the apparent lack of respect she showed towards her employees. The backlash was swift, with many calling for Wang’s resignation and criticizing Baidu for allowing such conduct to occur within the company.

The Resignation and Baidu’s Response

On May 10, 2024, Baidu announced that Wang Zhi had resigned from her position as head of public relations, effective immediately. In a statement released to the media, the company acknowledged the incident and stated that it did not condone the behavior displayed by Wang in the videos.

“Baidu takes this matter very seriously and does not tolerate any form of disrespect or mistreatment of our employees,” the statement read. “We have accepted Ms. Wang’s resignation and will be conducting a thorough review of our internal policies and procedures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.”

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The resignation comes at a time when Baidu, like many other tech companies in China, is facing increased scrutiny over its treatment of employees and workplace culture. In recent years, there have been growing concerns about the long hours, high-pressure environments, and lack of work-life balance that are common in the industry.

The Wider Implications

The Wang Zhi incident has shone a spotlight on these issues and has prompted many to question whether the tech industry in China is doing enough to protect the rights and well-being of its employees. Some have argued that the pressure to perform and the fear of losing one’s job can lead to a culture of fear and intimidation, where employees are afraid to speak up or challenge their superiors.

Others have pointed to the broader societal expectations and cultural norms that may contribute to the problem. In China, there is a strong emphasis on hierarchy and respect for authority, which can make it difficult for employees to challenge their superiors or speak up about mistreatment.

The Need for Change

Despite the challenges, many believe that change is necessary and that the tech industry in China must take steps to address these issues. Some have called for stronger labor laws and better enforcement of existing regulations, while others have argued for a shift in corporate culture and a greater emphasis on employee well-being.

One potential solution that has been proposed is the implementation of more robust employee training and development programs, which could help to foster a more positive and supportive work environment. By investing in their employees and providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed, companies like Baidu could help to create a more engaged and motivated workforce.

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Another key area that needs to be addressed is the issue of work-life balance. Many tech companies in China have been criticized for their long working hours and lack of flexibility, which can take a toll on employees’ mental and physical health. By implementing policies that prioritize work-life balance and provide employees with more support and resources, companies could help to create a more sustainable and healthy work environment.

Conclusion

The resignation of Wang Zhi from Baidu is a significant event that has shone a light on the broader issues facing the tech industry in China. While the company’s swift action in accepting her resignation and promising to review its policies is a positive step, there is still much work to be done to address the underlying problems.

By prioritizing employee well-being, fostering a more positive and supportive work culture, and implementing policies that promote work-life balance, companies like Baidu can help to create a more sustainable and successful tech industry in China. It is a challenge that will require commitment and collaboration from all stakeholders, but one that is essential for the long-term success and well-being of the industry and its employees.

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Unveiling the Future of Sound: Daniel Ricciardo Teases Unreleased Beats Pill Speaker

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Introduction

The convergence of technology and music never fails to generate excitement among enthusiasts for the latest innovations in audio devices. Recently, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo created a buzz among fans and tech enthusiasts by teasing an unreleased Beats Pill speaker. This article takes a closer look at this intriguing development, examining the potential impact of this new product on the audio industry and consumer market.

The Unveiling of the Beats Pill Speaker

Daniel Ricciardo, known for his prowess on the racetrack, surprised fans with a sneak peek of the upcoming Beats Pill speaker during a recent event. The sleek design and promising features of this unreleased device have already captured the attention of music lovers and tech aficionados worldwide.

Analyzing the Teaser

As we dissect the teaser shared by Daniel Ricciardo, it’s evident that Beats by Dre is gearing up to revolutionize the portable speaker market once again. The teaser hints at cutting-edge technology, superior sound quality, and a design that merges style with functionality. With Ricciardo’s endorsement, the Beats Pill speaker is poised to make a significant impact in the audio industry.

Potential Features and Specifications

While specific details about the unreleased Beats Pill speaker remain shrouded in secrecy, industry experts speculate on potential features based on past iterations and market trends. Expectations include enhanced connectivity options, improved battery life, immersive sound quality, and innovative design elements that set this speaker apart from its predecessors.

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Market Impact and Consumer Expectations

The unveiling of the Beats Pill speaker by Daniel Ricciardo has generated considerable buzz within the consumer electronics market. As consumers eagerly await the official launch, expectations are high for a product that not only delivers exceptional audio performance but also embodies the brand’s commitment to innovation and quality. With Ricciardo’s endorsement adding a touch of star power, the Beats Pill speaker is positioned to capture a significant share of the portable speaker market.

The Future of Audio Technology

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the introduction of the unreleased Beats Pill speaker signifies a new chapter in the realm of audio devices. With advancements in wireless connectivity, sound engineering, and design aesthetics, this upcoming product promises to redefine the way we experience music on the go. As Daniel Ricciardo teases fans with a glimpse of what’s to come, the future of sound appears brighter and more immersive than ever before.

Conclusion

The teaser of the unreleased Beats Pill speaker by Daniel Ricciardo has set the stage for a groundbreaking addition to the audio industry. With its blend of style, innovation, and superior sound quality, this upcoming device has the potential to captivate consumers and elevate the portable speaker market to new heights. As we eagerly await the official launch, one thing is certain – the future of sound is about to get a whole lot more exciting with the arrival of the Beats Pill speaker.

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Bridging the Digital Divide: Comcast’s $61 Million Expansion to Bring High-Speed Internet to Pennsylvania

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In a significant move towards bridging the digital divide, Comcast has been awarded over $61 million by the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to expand its network across 158 municipalities in Pennsylvania. This initiative, part of the Broadband Infrastructure Program funded by the Capital Projects Fund, aims to bring gigabit plus speeds to homes and businesses that were previously unserved or underserved with high-speed Internet.

The impact of this expansion is poised to revolutionize connectivity in the state, providing residents and businesses access to Comcast’s full suite of services, including Xfinity Internet, Xfinity TV & Streaming, Xfinity Mobile, as well as Comcast Business Internet and mobile services. With an expected completion date in late 2026, this endeavor marks a significant step towards enhancing digital access and fostering economic growth in Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Access to high-speed Internet has become a fundamental necessity in today’s digital age, enabling individuals and businesses to connect, communicate, and thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. However, disparities in broadband access persist, particularly in rural and underserved areas. Comcast’s recent award of over $61 million to expand its network in Pennsylvania represents a crucial investment in closing this gap and empowering communities with robust connectivity.

The Significance of the Expansion

The expansion of Comcast’s network across 158 municipalities in Pennsylvania is a testament to the company’s commitment to enhancing digital infrastructure and fostering economic development in the state. By bringing gigabit-plus speeds to previously unserved or underserved areas, Comcast is not only improving access to high-speed Internet but also unlocking a myriad of opportunities for residents and businesses to leverage the power of connectivity.

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Impact on Communities

The implications of this expansion are far-reaching, with residents and businesses set to benefit from a wide range of services offered by Comcast, including Xfinity Internet, Xfinity TV & Streaming, Xfinity Mobile, and Comcast Business Internet and mobile services. This comprehensive suite of offerings will not only enhance connectivity but also enable individuals and organizations to access a wealth of online resources, engage in e-commerce, and participate in the digital economy.

Comcast’s Vision and Commitment

Ricky Frazier Jr., Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Keystone Region, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for being selected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to spearhead this initiative. He highlighted Comcast’s dedication to reaching more Pennsylvanians in unserved areas and enabling them to harness the transformative power of the Internet. The strong demand for Xfinity and Comcast Business services within these communities underscores the pressing need for enhanced connectivity, a need that Comcast is poised to meet with its expansion projects.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Comcast’s $61 million expansion to bring high-speed Internet to homes and businesses in Pennsylvania represents a significant milestone in the quest to bridge the digital divide and promote inclusive growth. By investing in robust digital infrastructure and extending its network to underserved areas, Comcast is not only enhancing connectivity but also empowering communities to thrive in an increasingly digital world. As these projects unfold and reach completion in late 2026, Pennsylvania is poised to witness a transformation in connectivity that will pave the way for a more connected, prosperous future for all its residents and businesses.

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