Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is at the centre of any study that revolves around understanding the spread of information in today’s digital age. However, such studies and their results tend to be hovering very close to the boundary of freedom of speech. In an article by Julian Hattem on The Hill, Ajit Pai, Republican member of Federal Communications Commision, was quoted as drawing attention to one such recent study.
The study, which is funded by National Science Foundation, is among other directions, also looking at how political smears and misinformation spread on the Web through platforms like Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). In the article, Indiana University, which is conducting the research, claimed that some of these memes are also a product of ‘high-profile congressional campaigns’. This clears the air why politicians would be interested in hampering such research apart from their interest in protecting our freedom of speech of course.
Common man is ‘informationally vulnerable’ and quite often we tend to make decisions and pass judgements on the immediate information we receive through social media such as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), without delving into the background or verifying the authenticity of the information. This would explain why platforms like Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) are ideal for maligning members of the opposition party.
However, as I mentioned earlier, it is a thin line to cross, since if the state was to make sure that information was regulated and citizens are protected from misinformation, it gives the state too much power. We all know the relation between excessive power, abuse and corruption. Hence, although regulating information to a certain extent will protect citizens from making unsubstantiated choices, but on the other hand it will make U.S. look more like Chinese democracy.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is gaining a lot of traction especially among the more politically driven subscribers. From its contribution in protests, rescue missions, to even sending messages directly to political leaders, the platform has evolved into a politically significant entity.
There might be an opportunity for Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) to step up here and let users decide which information is unworthy of consideration by perhaps introducing a rating system for tweets.
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