Sei sulla pagina 1di 45

CHAPTER – III

“SNS – AN ARTICULATION OF INFORMATIONAL


TECHNOLOGY”

“Networking is not about Hunting. It is about Farming. It’s about Cultivating


Relationships. Don’t engage in ‘Premature Solicitation’. You’ll be a Better Networker
if you Remember that”

3.1 SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media are computer-mediated technologies that allow individuals,


companies, NGOs, governments, and other organizations to view, create and share
information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities
and networks.

Social media differ from paper-based or traditional electronic media such as TV


broadcasting in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy,
and permanence. Social media operate in a dialogic transmission system (many sources
to many receivers). This is in contrast to traditional media that operates under a
monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers), such as newspaper which
is delivered to many subscribers. It can be an effective communications (or marketing)
tool for corporations, entrepreneurs, non profit organizations, including advocacy groups
and political parties and governments. Some of the common features are:

They are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications,

User-generated content such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos,


as well as data generated through all online interactions, are the lifeblood of the
social media organism,

Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app, that are designed and
maintained by the social media organization and

Social media facilitate the development of online social networks by connecting a


user's profile with those of other individuals and/or groups.

46
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Social network sites are web-based services that allow individuals to construct a
semi-public or public profile in a bounded system. Maximum of the time social
networking sites are used to communicate with people who are already their friends or
connections in the social network sharing same mindset or same interests and views,
discussions on debatable topics, news articles are most common topics on these SNSs.
Social networking sites are not only popular for providing a platform for chatting, sharing
scraps, videos, pictures etc. but also for discussing social issues.

With the advancement in technology, communication has grown. It is now easier


and cheap to communicate and connect with people across the world. The issue of
distance is no longer an excuse for lack of communication. Communication systems have
grown from wired devices to wireless devices. The internet has also brought adverse
changes in the forms of communications that are available and currently being used.
It has led the rise of social networks. It helps to communicate and share the thoughts with
many people at the same time. It is easy to share information like pictures, advertisements,
videos and text messages. To many people, it is perceived as a form of entertainment.
However, being in social sites enhances communication. There are many types of social
sites and it is on oneself to choose the one that are comfortable with.

Earlier people kept their data private but now they like going public and viewing wall
posts, status updates, tweets and in fact every excitement of their lives. In this way, the users
are violating their privacy and liberty at the negotiation of publicizing intimate details so as to
attract hundreds of online readers and even strangers. Now there is a sort of competition
among the youths to pose themselves as most favourite and famous person on internet.

When these social networking sites started, youths got immediately paying
attention towards them as they found it very convenient to develop their social circle,
chat with other teenagers share their personal photos and see others data too lacking of
any security alert. No hesitation these SNS provides employment, marketing, personal
growth, sharing of information but the most prevalent hazard through often involves
online individuals. One side these sites provide to be in touch with the dear ones on the
other side it creates platform for many cyber crimes.

47
3.2 SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES - DEFINITION

The social networking sites are defined as internet-based services that allow
individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system,
articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse
their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and
nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

Social networking sites appear in public discourse, and the two terms are often
used interchangeably. The term “Networking” emphasizes relationship initiation, often
between strangers. While networking is possible on these sites, it is not the primary
practice on many of them, nor is it what differentiates them from other forms of
computer-mediated communication (CMC). The social networking sites seem unique in
terms of enabling users to articulate and make visible their social networks. This can
result in connections between individuals that would not otherwise be made, but that is
often not the goal, and these meetings are frequently between "latent ties".

Exhibit No.3.2.1. Features of Social Media

Source: Global web index

3.3 SOCIAL MEDIA - A BOON OR A BANE

Social media is a virtual world where people interact freely, sharing and
discussing ideas and information, know about each other and their lives, sending
messages etc. by using a multimedia mix of personal words, pictures, videos and audios.
Social media is different from any other media in many ways including quality, reach,
48
frequency, usability, immediacy and durability. Social media is around us since the
ancient times when first time humans began to talk; its evidences are still on the walls of
caves in the form of wall paintings. After the development of electronic computers in
1950s, internet came into existence. In the year 1969, Compuserve was the first
major commercial Internet Service provider for the public in U.S. The first email was
delivered in 1971. The American Online (AOL) services opened in 1985. In 1998, Google
became popular as a major internet search engine and index. In 2001, Wikipedia started as an
online encyclopaedia. In 2003, Myspace and LinkedIn were launched as social networking
sites. In 2004, Facebook, another social networking site came into existence.

3.3.1. BOON OF SOCIAL MEDIA

To Students

Students can produce and retain information.

Social media offers lots of opportunities for learning and interaction.

Students are getting to explore and experience the world not only by books and
assignments; but also by adapting social media.

In today’s world; contacts, networks and communications are very important;


students who are accessing Facebook, twitter and other such social networking
site to connect and share information have good contacts.

To Teenagers

Comfortable way of communication for shy teens. This can boost their self-
esteem and confidence.

Social media gives teens with unusual interest and hobbies a place to share
information and enthusiasm.

Social media helps them to enrich and manage their social lives.

Teens who are differently abled and have other challenges can communicate with
other teens with similar problems.

49
To Businesses

Social Media Marketing is an excellent tool for business exposure to the public at
a much lower cost than any traditional marketing

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter help targeting new customers and make
brand more popular.

Social Media can improve customer services and enable business to gain new
information about their customers.

To Society

Worthful aid for solving crime - Police are began to investigate gang-related
crimes on social media networks.

It’s a form of political influence - Social media is a true voice of people. Social
media is a powerful force for change and it has a potential to influence the
outcomes of political decisions.

Wiped-out the distances - Users can reconnect with their kith and kin
internationally without wasting money on international phone calls by using
emails and Skype.

A revolution in Brand making - Social media has transformed the market.


Brands have the ability to engage the customers with products, social media helps
to make good brand image.

A boon in crisis

3.3.2 BANE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

To Students

Social media can be a very distracting and harmful for students.

Students share personal information, comment on someone’s post which may be


harmful for them.

Always glued with their mobiles, tablets, computer which is wastage of time and
may spoil their performance.

50
To Teenagers
Online bullying and Harassment which is also known as Cyber-bullying may be
the biggest danger for teens.

Online predators, it is basically an online sex crime against minors.

Less interaction with friends and family.

To Businesses
Consumers can post negative comments on social media sites which may damage
their prospects with new clients.

Threat of hackers is a terrible issue on social media.

Choosing among different social media sites might be a tough task for business
owner; if select the wrong one then it may affect the success of business.

3.4 SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

Although the concept of computer based communities dated back to the early days of
computer networks, only some years after the advent of internet, social networking have met
public and commercial success. Computer network was initially envisioned in the heydays of
The Beatles as a military-centric command and control scheme.

Exhibit No.3.4.1 SNS – Origin and Development

Source: Global Web Index

51
The Infant Years

In the 1970’s, efforts to support social networks via computer-mediated


communication (CMC) were made in many online services, including Usenet,
ARPANET, LISTSERV, and Bulletin Board Services (BBS). These online meeting
places were effectively and independently produced hunks of codes that allowed users to
communicate with a central system where they could download files or games and post
messages to other users. There were also many other avenues for social interaction, with
prototypical features of SNS, such as America Online, Prodigy, and CompuServe. Though the
technology of the time restricted the flexibility of these systems, and the end-user’s
experience, to text-only exchanges of data that crawled along at glacial speed, these
services, continued to gain popularity throughout the ‘80s and well into the ’90s, when
the internet truly kicked into gear.

Adolescence

The two inventions boosted up the internet were the creation of hypertext in1990,
a system that links together electronic documents, including texts and graphics, which
resulted in the establishment of the World Wide Web (WWW), and the invention of web
browsers in 1993. The first phase of web represents the Web 1.0, which according to Tim
Barners-Lee could be considered the “read-only” web.

Early social networking on the World Wide Web began in the form of generalized
online communities such as Theglobe.com (1994), Geocities (1994) and Tripod.com (1995).
Many of these early communities focused on bringing people together to interact with
each other through chat rooms, and encouraged users to share personal information and
ideas via personal web pages by providing easy-to-use publishing tools and free or
inexpensive web space. Some communities - such as Classmates.com (1995) –took a
different approach by simply having people link to each other via e-mail addresses.
Classmates.com is a social media website created by Randy Conrad. The site helps
members find, connect and keep in touch with friends and acquaintances from school life
but users could not create profiles or list of friends until years later. In the late 1990s,
user profiles became a central feature of SNSs, allowing users to compile lists of
“friends” and search for other users with similar interests.

52
The first recognizable SNS was the SixDegrees.com in 1997. SixDegrees.com
allowed users to create profiles, list their friends and surf the lists.SixDegrees.com was
named after the six degrees of separation concept, i.e.; no person is separated by more
than six degrees from another, and its founders worked hard on the concept by
encouraging users to bring more people into the field. Unfortunately, this ultimately
became a bit too pushy for many, and the site slowly de-evolved into a loose association
of computer users and numerous complaints of spam-filled membership drives. It was
one of the manifestations of SNS in the format now seen today. SixDegrees.com folded
completely just after the turn of the millennium.

Lunar Storm as a community site, CyWorld.com as a discussion forum tool and


Skyrock (formally SkyBlog) was a French blogging service before adding SNS
features. AsianAvenue.com, MiGente.com and BlackPlanet.com were early popular
ethnic community sites with limited friends’ functionality before re-launching in 2005-06
with SNS features and structure.

The Biz Grow Up

In the beginning of the 21st century, the technological refinements brought a new
version of Web 2.0, which helped the boom of internet and social networking. Terry
Flew, in his 3rd Edition of New Media, described what he believed to categorize the
differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0: “Move from personal website to blogs and
blog site aggregation, from publishing to participation, from web content as the outcome
of large up-front investment to an ongoing and interactive process, and from content
management system to links based on tagging”.

The newer generation of SNS began to flourish with the emergence of the
Friendster in 2002, which used a degree of separation concept similar to SixDegrees.com.
Just after its launch, Friendster has got more than three million registered users and a ton
of investment interest. Though the service has since seen more than its fair share of
technical difficulties, questionable management decisions, and a resulting drop in the
North American fortunes, it remains a force in Asia, curiously, a near-necessary in the
Philippines. LinkedIn, which took a more serious and sober approach, was launched in
2003. Rather than being a playground for former classmates and teenagers, LinkedIn was,

53
and still is, a networking resource for business-people who want to connect with other
professionals. During 2003, there were numerous SNSs but most of them did not attract too
much attention especially in United States (US) market. For instance, Xing were formed
for business persons while services like My Church, Dogster and Couch surfing were formed
for social service.

In the same year, MySpace, one of the leading SNS today, hit the public. Though it
no longer resides upon the throne in many English-speaking countries, MySpace remains
the perennial favourite in the United States of America (USA). It does so by tempting the
key young adult demographic with music, music videos, and a funky, feature-filled
environment. It became the most popular in USA 2006 and the 100 th million account was
created on 9th August 2006. MySpace grew rapidly because they customized services
depending on what customers were looking for. Music bands were the main attraction to
these sites as friends spread the word around it.

In 2004, the ubiquitous Facebook founded by Mark Zuckerberg, who studied at


Harvard University. The website membership was initially limited by the founders to
Harvard University students, who peddled their products to other university students, and
later in 2006, Facebook hit the general public. Yet even by that time, Facebook was
seriously big business, with ten millions of dollars already invested, and Silicon Valley
bigwigs such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel firmly behind it.

Exhibit No.3.4.2. Time Line of Social Networking Sites

Source: ID Five

54
Many more SNSs launched with advanced features, mainly focusing on
entertainment and communication, for users in the following years. Some of the
important network services were Orkut (2004), YouTube (re-launched in 2005), Bebo
(2005), Twitter (2006), Yahoo!360 (2005), QQ(Chinese, re-launched in 2006) and recently,
Google Buzz (2010). Many of the SNSs target people from specific geographical regions
or linguistic groups, although this does not determine the sites’ constituency. Orkut, for
example, was launched in the US with English-only interface, but Portuguese-speaking
Brazilians quickly became the dominant user group. Orkut is one of the leading SNSs in India.

Some sites are designed with specific ethnic, religious, sexual orientation,
political or other identity-driven categories in mind. There are even SNSs for dogs
(Dogster) and cats (Catster), although their owners must manage their profiles. While
SNSs often designed to be widely accessible, many attract homogeneous populations
initially, so it is not uncommon to find groups using sited to segregate themselves by
nationality, age, educational level, or other factors that typically segment society, even if
that was not the intention of the designers.

3.5 CORE CHARACTERISTICS OF SNS

There are five basic characteristics that differentiate a social network from a
regular website. Those characteristics are as follows:

User-based

Before social networks like Facebook or MySpace became the norm, websites
were based on content that was updated by one user and read by Internet visitors. The
flow of information was in a single direction, and the direction of future updates was
determined by the webmaster, or writer. Online social networks, on the other hand, are
built and directed by users themselves. Without the users, the network would be an
empty space filled with empty forums, applications, and chat rooms. Users populate the
network with conversations and content.

Interactive

Modern social networks are the fact that they are so interactive. A social network
is not just a collection of chat rooms and forums anymore. Websites like Facebook are
filled with network-based gaming applications, where one can play poker together or

55
challenge a friend to a chess tournament. These social networks are quickly becoming a
pastime that more people are choosing over television - because it's more than just
entertainment, it's a way to connect and have fun with friends.

Community-driven

Social networks are built and thrive from community concepts, just like
communities or social groups around the world are founded on the fact that members
hold common beliefs or hobbies; social networks are based on the same principle.
Within most modern online social networks today, one can find sub-communities of
people who share commonalities, such as alumni of a particular high school, or an
animal welfare group. Not only one can discover new friends within these interest based
communities, but they can also reconnect with old friends that they lost contact with
many years ago.

Relationships

Unlike the websites of the past, social networks thrive on relationships. The more
relationships that one has within the network, the more established they are toward the
centre of that network. Like the concept most pyramid schemes are focused on, within
online social networks, the concept really works in a powerful way. When one have just
20 contacts and they publish a note or an update on that page, that content proliferates out
across a network of contacts and sub-contacts that's much larger than they may realize.

Emotion over content

Another unique characteristic of social networks is the emotional factor. While


websites of the past were focused primarily on providing information to a visitor, the
social network actually provides users with emotional security and a sense that no matter
what happens, their friends are within easy reach. Whether suffering through divorce,
break-up or any other family crisis, people are finding that the ability to jump online and
communicate directly with a circle of friends provides a great deal of support in an
otherwise unmanageable situation.

56
Presentation of Oneself

The basic level of entry in most SNS is the setting up of a 'profile': a


personalized page developed by the user in which he/she presents him/herself to peers,
through text, photos music and videos amongst others functionalities. SNS allow users
to mobilize and organize their social contacts and profiles in the way they want other
members to see them.

New Ways for Community Formation


Though notions of virtual communities have existed since the beginning of online
applications, SNS support new ways for people to connect between themselves. Users of
these sites may choose to communicate through various digital objects, such as tags and
in-built applications within the SNS, such as the 'visual shelf' application in Facebook.
Users may join a community of book readers, connecting through books they have liked.

Ease of Use
A major attribute of SNS' popularity is their simplicity. Anyone with basic
internet skills can create and manage an online SNS presence. Prior to SNS, users gained
an online presence by having a personal homepage. The drawbacks were that these
homepages are not easy to create and development and hosting of the site often incur
costs. In contrast, SNS are free of charge and open for anyone to join. Most of them
require registration, while others limit membership through an invitation from members
who are already members of the site.

Exhibit No.3.5.1 Characteristics of Social Networking Sites

Source: JRC Scientific and Technical Reports

57
3.6 NEED FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Exhibit No.3.6.1 Need for SNS

Source : Startup Tools & Guides (2014).

Social networking is fundamentally shifting the way to interact, communicate,


organize, form opinions, and even shop, its blurring boundaries, increasing transparency
and creating fluidity in everything. Growing rapidly, companies, large and small, can no
longer ignore or try to block social networking in their environment. The reality is needed
to go where their target audiences are – and people are more likely to participate in a
social media forum than any other venue. Customers, partners, and employees, alike
expect to engage with the user via social media – it’s a way for them to stay connected,
gather feedback, recruit, and collaborate.

3.7 TYPES OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES / SERVICES

There are many types of social networks available. Most social networks combine
elements of more than one of these types of networks, and the focus of a social network
may change over time.

58
Exhibit No.3.7.1. Types of Social Networking Sites

Source: IBM Developer Works.

Profile Based/Personal Networking Services

Profile based networks allow users to create detailed online profiles and
connect with other users, with an emphasis on social relationships such as friendship.
For example, Facebook, Friendster and MySpace are platforms for communicating
with contacts. These networks often involve users sharing information with other
approved users, such as one’s gender, age, interests, educational background and
employment, as well as files and links to music, photos and videos. These platforms
may also share selected information with individuals and applications that are not
authorized contacts.

Content-sharing Networking Services

Content sharing networks are designed as platforms for sharing content, such
as music, photographs and videos. When these websites introduce the ability to
create personal profiles, establish contacts and interact with other users through
comments, they become social networks as well as content hubs. Some popular
content sharing networks include the sixty one, YouTube and Flickr.

59
Status-up
pdate Netwo
orking Servvices
Statuus-update neetworks are designed to
t allow users to post short statu
us
uppdates in order to com
mmunicate with
w other users
u quicklyy. For exam
mple, Twitteer
foocuses its seervices on providing
p innstantaneous, short updaates. These networks arre
designed to broadcast
b infformation quuickly and puublicly, thouugh there maay be privaccy
seettings to resstrict access to status upddates.

Location Networking Services


With the adventt of GPS-enabled celluular phoness, location networks
n arre
grrowing in popularity.
p T
These netwoorks are designed to broadcast
b onne’s real-tim
me
loocation, eitheer as public informationn or as an update viewabble to authoriized contacts.
M
Many of thesse networks are built too interact wiith other soccial networkks; so that an
a
uppdate made to a locatio
on network could (withh proper authhorization) post
p to one’’s
otther social networks. Some exam
mples of loccation netw
works includde Brightkitee,
Foursquare, Loopt
L and Google Latituude.

Shared-in
nterest Netw
working Serrvices
Sociall networks are
a built aroound a comm
mon interesst or geared to a specifiic
grroup of peo
ople. These networks incorporate
i features froom other typpes of sociaal
networks butt are slanted
d toward a subset
s of inddividuals, suuch as thosee with similaar
hobbies, educcational back
kgrounds, poolitical affiliiations, ethnic backgrounnds, religiou
us
views, sexual orientation
ns or other defining intterests. Exaamples of suuch networkks
innclude deviaant ART, Lin
nkedIn, Blacck Planet, Gooodreads andd Gay.com.
3.8 ADVANTAG
A GES AND DISADVANT
TAGES OF SOCIAL NE
ETWORKIING SITES

60
3.8.1. Advantages

Worldwide Connectivity

Through social networking sites, individuals make new friends or business


connections or extend their personal base by connecting and interacting with friends of
friends and so forth. These connections can help one with a variety of things such as:

Seeking a new job

Locating assistance

Getting and giving product and service referrals

Receiving support from like-minded individuals

Making or receiving advice on career or personal issues

Commonality of Interest

When one opt to participate in a social network community, he/she can pick and
choose those individuals whose likes and dislikes are similar to them and build their
network around those commonalities.

Real-Time Information Sharing

Many social networking sites incorporate an instant messaging feature, which


means one can exchange information in real-time via a chat.

Free Advertising

Whether a non-profit organization that needs to get the word out about their
upcoming fundraiser or a business owner marketing a new product or service, there's no
better way to get their message in front of millions of people 24/7. The best part is it that
they can spread the word through social networking profiles for free.

Increased News Cycle Speed

Social networking has revolutionized the speed of the news cycle. Many news
organizations now partner with social networking sites like Twitter, YouTube, and
Facebook in order to both collect and share information.

61
3.8.2. Disadvantages:
Face to Face Connections are Endangered

A huge advantage of these social communities has a reverse side effect that is also
a big disadvantage of social networking: they reduce or eliminate face-to-face
socialization. Because of the autonomy afforded by the virtual world, individuals are free
to create a fantasy persona and can pretend to be someone else.

Unfortunately, online socialization cheats people of the opportunity to learn how


to resolve conflicts in the world outside the Internet and it could retard or cripple one's
social skills developments.

A report from the National School Boards Association shows children who are
using these social networks spend 41 percent of their time in posting messages. They are
not spending this time in face-to-face interactions with their peers or others nor are they
developing the necessary social skills for future success.

Addiction

People are started to get addicted to social networking sites. Social networking
has big impact on people's social life. People use Facebook at the work and started not to
pay attention to work. This addiction problem is one of the biggest problems about social
networking sites.

Cyberbullying and Crimes against Children

Cyberbullying means “any use of information and communications technology to


support deliberates and hostile attempts to hurt, upset or embarrass another person”. Use
of social networks can expose individuals to harassment or inappropriate contact from
others. Unless parents are diligent to filter the Internet content to which their families are
exposed, children could be exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content.

Risks of Fraud or Identity Theft

Whether one like it or not, the information they post on the Internet is available to
almost anyone who is clever enough to access it. Most thieves need just a few vital pieces
of personal information to make their life a nightmare and if they successfully steal the
identity, it could cost dearly.
62
Time Waster

Social networking can be a big waste of time that sucks 17 percent of Internet
time down the non-productivity drain. While it is true that some of that time is likely
spent in making and maintaining important business, social or professional connections.

Corporate Invasion of Privacy

Social networking invites major corporations to invade the privacy and sell the
personal information. On social networking sites, the website isn't the product, its users
are. These sites run algorithms that search for keywords, web browsing habits, and other
data stored on the user’s computer or social networking profile and provide
advertisements targeted specifically to that particular user.

Affect Learning Habit of Students


Social networking sites, affect the students most than others. They lose their
interest in studying and healthy activities. Social networking sites are exactly same as
drugs. Once one enter into it, it’s really hard to come out from there. Some students use
social networking sites all the day even in the exam times.

Affect Human Health

Sitting on the chair for a whole day would definitely affect the human body.
Social networking sites do this job perfectly. Instead of playing outside or do some
physical activities, people are sitting in front of the laptop. This is the reason why people
face more healthy issues in this current world.

3.9 SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND WEB 2.0

Web 2.0 is a term coined by Tim O'Reilly. It redefines the interactions between
Internet and users and brings about a new Internet ecosystem, the framework of it hinges
on Participation, Openness and Decentralization. The concepts of Web 2.0 have led to the
development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications.
Therefore SNS is the service or application site of Social Network that apply the concepts
of Web 2.0. It is in people's instinctive nature to connect with each other, SNS creates a
big and lasting market for community services, and the convergence brings about
multiple channels and platforms for facilitation of social network.

63
COMPONENTS OF WEB 2.0 FOR SOCIAL NETWORKS

Exhibit No.3.9.1 - Components of Web 2.0 for social networks

Source: Vincent Demers, 2010.

The beauty of Web 2.0 fitment to Social Networks is that all the components of
Web 2.0 are built for the growth and sustenance of Social Networks. The major concepts
that have been considered in Web 2.0 are:

Communities: Communities are an online space formed by a group of individuals to


share their thoughts, ideas and have a variety of tools to promote Social Networking.
There are a number of tools available online now a days to create communities which are
very cost efficient as well as easy to use.

Blogging: Blogs give the users of a Social Network the freedom to express their thoughts
in a free form basis and help in generation and discussion of topics.

Wikis: A Wiki is a set of co-related pages on a particular subject and allow users to share
content. Wikis replace the complex document management systems and are very easy to
create and maintain.

Folksonomy: Web 2.0 being a people-centric technology has introduced the feature of
Folksonomy where users can tag their content online and this enables others to easily find
and view other content.

File sharing/Podcasting: This is the facility which helps users to send their media files
and related content online for other people of the network to see and contribute more on.

64
Mashups: This is the facility via which people on the internet can congregate services
from multiple vendors to create a completely new service. An example may be
combining the location information from a mobile service provider and the map facility
of Google maps in order to find the exact information of a cell phone device from the
internet, just by entering the cell number.
New avenues of interaction and communication
The factor that has greatly contributed to the world of communication, assisted by
the internet technology is the ‘Web 2.0’. Web 2.0 encompasses blogging, podcasting,
wikis, Social Networking, user-generated content, and search media like Google, Yahoo
etc. It has come into existence not through the advancement of technologies but
implementation and use. So, while Internet technology had an effect on overall life of
man, it has provided with an option for communicating with friends, relatives, colleagues
and everyone they want to connect with, even celebrities. The furtherance of this
technology, which is social media, has opened doors for more and more communication
channels like text and video chatting, multimedia messaging, blogging, and now the
social networking which connects users across the board. This has created a different
sphere of life— ‘Virtual World’ for users. These users in turn have led to creation of a
separate community ‘Virtual Community’, a term which was first used by Howard
Rheingold for the title of a book about the collections of people who commingle on the
Internet in a wide variety of computer-mediated social groups usually based on the
mutual interest and irrespective of geographical proximity.
3.10 ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORK AND CLOUD BASED VIDEO SHARING
SYSTEM
Social network Sites (SNS) and Cloud Based video Sharing is the most interactive
and efficient technology. It is mostly attracted by the College Students, Researchers, and
Industrial Persons and mainly attracted by School Students. Social Network Sites is web
related services which has been used with internet to build the high profile with enlarged
system. Using the Social Network Sites users can easily share their thoughts, photos,
videos, files etc by cloud services. SNS is mainly communicate with the initiation and
then between strangers. SNS is commonly used by all people in the forms of Computer-
Mediated Communication (CMC).
65
Exhibit No.3.10.1. SNS and Cloud Based Video Sharing System – A Model

Source: Scientist Link Group of Publications

The latest innovations in cloud computing are to make the business applications
more mobile and collaborative, similar to the popular consumer apps like Facebook and
Twitter. The common productivity tasks like emails and web surfing, smart phones are
flexing their strengths in more challenging scenarios such as real-time video streaming
and online gaming, as well as serving as a main tool for social exchanges. Many mobile
social or media applications have emerged, truly killer ones gain mass acceptance, still
impeded by the limitations of the current mobile and wireless technologies, among which
battery lifetime and unstable connection bandwidth are the most difficult ones. As cloud
computing grows in popularity, thousands of companies are simply rebranding their non-
cloud products and services as “cloud computing.”

3.11 PURPOSES OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Social networking provides advancements especially in communication and self


expression and the use of social networking is expanding. Social Networking Sites are
used by diverse categories of users for a variety of purposes. The main goal or motive of
the Social Networking Sites is to provide an interactive environment to communicate
with peers and get useful information.

66
To Find Useful Information

Social Networking Sites are a new platform for information sharing and
communication, where users can read, download and upload valuable as well as up-to-
date information and share with others. For instance, read book reviews, join publishers/
journals/organizations/Institutional pages and so on.

To Get Opinions on Different Subjects

Social Networking Sites users post their comments on a subject matter for open
discussion and get diverse views of peers. The users’ community give their feedback in
the form of comments regarding the topics posted.

For Entertainment

Many people admit that these sites are merely a form of entertainment. They use
these sites as a creation network of users, share and post funny videos or photos, flirt with
girls, comment on the profile of others, and establish fake relations through chatting.
Some people use this media for eradicating loneliness and depression.

For Socializing

"Socializing" is widely used in the field of Sociology which means to create a


society. Socializing means to meet people on a single platform, share common interests
and communicate with each other.

Discussion Forum

People on these sites join different groups or communities like academic,


business, political and social welfare. Users of Social Networking Sites discuss common
matters on related problems. They post common topics for discussion and take views and
opinions of others.

To Share Experience and Expertise

The users' community share their experiences, achievements, solve problems,


give or take advice on it. They also share personal information with those people whom
they do not even know.

67
For Academic Purpose

Academic bodies such as school/college/university and other institutions are


making use of these type of media in order to provide information on what is happening
in their respective institutes in the form of announcement and news. They also help in
providing reference utility at admission time. The libraries also utilize this technology to
provide need- based services to the users.

To Communicate with Family and Friends

A powerful mode of - communication among friends, family, teachers,


researchers and other business and academic community, which is proved by research
studies, about Social Networking Sites is that it is the new innovative tool for
communication between family and friends.

Playing Games

Most of the Social Networking Sites provide features of games. Sometimes


members of a particular network get entertainment through playing games provided by
these networking sites. This feature which is very popular among teenagers is used for
playing online games.

Interactive Media of Communication as Compared to Phone/E-Mail

Social Networking Sites are free services provided by the Internet. Anyone can
connect with them without any hindrance or special skill. These sites provide easier,
cheaper, faster and more interactive features for communication than the earlier
communication tools such as mobile or email.

To Keep-Up with Up-to-Date Happenings

It keeps up-to-date with the current happenings in society, profession, business


and work place of the users. For instance, if an earth quake has occurred users have
updated their status on the SNSs.

Helps in Study and Learning

SNS is a virtuous network among students and teachers. It provides an interactive


classroom environment among teachers and learners. Sharing of academic materials is

68
more likely to be done between teachers and students as well as among students
themselves.

Promote themselves and their Work

Everyone can share their latest achievements in their respective fields. The users'
community post their journey photographs and personal videos.

Informed about New Products

Social media spread awareness about the recent launches of new products in the
market.

Advertisements

In Social Networking Sites people can advertise a specific product on an idea to


create awareness among their clients. On the other hand, these are also used to publicize
different issues and to get feedbacks.

Business

The idea of developing Social Networking Sites is basically a business strategy. It


ensures involvement of users while introducing new products.

Professional Network

People related to similar professions can share useful tips regarding current
happenings and - discuss professional as well as personal problems on Social Networking
Sites. It can in turn build powerful networks and collaborations between professionals
and help in their professional fields.

Online Interaction

SNS merely facilitate with online interactions among people who are located at
distant places across the globe.

Feedback

The users give their appropriate feedback regarding use of particular products and
services or about any issue.

69
Build Relationships

Social Networking Sites connect those persons who have not yet met. It also
strengthens existing relationships by keeping in touch and sharing personal information.

3.12 BENEFITS OF SNS TO THE SELECTED PERSONALITIES

Social Networking Sites (SNSs) are attracting the attention of all the possible
users in the world - students, high school kids, researchers, academicians, industrialists,
celebrities, business people and even housewives. The noticeable feature is that all the
age groups are users of SNSs.

STUDENTS

Students are getting to explore and experience the world not only by books and
assignments; but also by adapting a new form of communication. In a world where
personal networks and connections are important, graduates enter the workplaces with a
lot more to offer. Students share personal information, links to other sites or comment on
someone’s post. They get engaged with each other instantly. The use of SNS has made it
easier and faster to interact with peers or teachers about their studies. In a world where
online engagements are important for businesses, these students are already experts at
developing an online presence. Students are also experts in interacting with others on the
internet. The SNS have been criticized a lot due to the effect it has on the way students
produce and retain information. Some parents are of the opinion that SNS can be very
distracting and harmful for students. On the contrary, SNS offers plenty of opportunities
for learning and interaction. By using technology in classrooms, the young generation is
paving a new way of education and learning.

HOMEMAKERS

The SNSs are useful for homemakers to find their friends online and checking the
status, build network of friends. Homemakers can often connected to the internet through
their mobiles, tablets, etc. and hence rapidly transmit information to friends, family and
other connections. This information is a lot more than just hilarious videos or vacation
snapshots. They can share views, opinions, tips, projects, study material and other such
useful stuff with each other. They exchange helpful information such as managing family &

70
children, food recipes, creative works and financing. Their ability to access, evaluate,
maintain and share information is fantastic without even being aware that they are
actually developing such skills day by day. The older generations need to understand the
magnitude of this new style of communication.

BUSINESS PERSONS

Social networks connect people at low cost; this can be beneficial for
entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand their contact bases. These networks
often act as a customer relationship management tool for companies selling products and
services. Companies can also use social networks for advertising in the form of banners
and text ads. Since businesses operate globally, social networks can make it easier to
keep in touch with contacts around the world. Brand networking is a new way to
capitalize on social trends as a marketing tool. The Enterprise Social Software is
becoming increasingly popular for collaboration, file sharing and knowledge transfer.

PROFESSIONALS

Many of the sites took the profile centric approaches, developing social network
even among the strangers, few sites focused on building up the professional network such
as LinkedIn. It uses different approach compared to other SNSs and LinkedIn were
concerned about the privacy issues since the beginning. Majority of users are interested to
look in LinkedIn the career opportunities. Further, it helps to update their professional
portfolio of the users. They are designed to provide information about education,
employment history and accomplishments to a large number of people. There are also
professional or interest groups on a variety of networks that can increase visibility and
contacts.

EMPLOYEES

Employees were increasingly turned to social networks to market themselves to


potential employers, network with other professionals and search out job opportunities.
However, an unprofessional social networking profile may also make a job applicant
seem unsuitable by revealing too much personal or unflattering information to a potential
employer. There are a variety of ways social networks can help with the job hunt. If a job

71
applicant initially contacts a potential employer via the Internet, a profile on a social
network can help confirm that there is a real person behind an email address. Social
networks increase networking opportunities. A job applicant can alert others to an interest
in finding a job, as well as details on the desired position, by posting about this interest
on a social network. Individuals who create positive, interesting and informative social
networking profiles may seem like stronger candidates for certain jobs. This is especially
true of, but not limited to, jobs involving outreach and communication.

Exhibit No.3.12.1 Commonly used Social Media Platforms

Source: Social media marketing Industry Report 2014.

3.13 USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: CONNECTION OR ISOLATION

Social networking sites provide a creative way for people to communicate with
each other. While it is a unique way to connect with others, there are risks experts
continue to ponder including the possibility of isolation. Many people tend to forget that
social networking was practically non-existent at one point in the past.

Social networking has helped people strengthen relationships in different ways.


Businesses use the concept to stay connected with their market while expanding it.
Individuals are able to stay connected with family and friends and reconnect with old
friends from the past. Social networking has helped people find jobs, launch business
ventures and make a difference in their local communities helping others. These aspects
alone seem as if social networking is making strides in helping others make promising
connections.

72
Social neetworking siites may haave made thiings a littlee too easy foor people. In
I
manyy cases they do not havee to leave theeir computerr when they want to meeet new peoplle
or watch
w someth
hing they would
w normaally watch on televisioon. They caan make new
w
conneections from
m one place without
w the need to leavve their hom
me. This aspeect may leav
ve
somee feeling as if they do not need to leaave their hom
me. Others may
m have issuues with selff-
confiidence and th
hink it will be
b better to meet
m others through
t the use
u of sociall networking
g.

Ex
xhibit No.3..13.1. Usefu
ulness of Soccial Network
king Sites

Sourcce: Global Web


W index

Social nettworking haas made it eaasy for peopple to be som


meone they are
a not. Theey
makee others belieeve they hav
ve a certain persona
p that others may never know
w if they don’t
meet in person. Social netw
working may discourage some from engaging inn face-to-facce
conveersation. Butt, despite su
uch claims the
t concept remains popular. Somee people maay
actuaally like the id
dea of being isolated if it helps them feel
f better aboout whom thhey really are.

3.14 PRIVACY CONCERN


NS WITH S
SOCIAL NE
ETWORKIN
NG SERVIC
CES

Social neetworking siites vary in the levels of


o privacy offered.
o Forr some sociaal
netwoorking sites like Facebo
ook, providinng real nam
mes and otherr personal innformation is
i
encouuraged by the
t site (ontto a page known
k as a ‘Profile‘). This
T inform
mation usuallly
consiists of birth date,
d currentt address, annd telephone number(s). Some sites allow
a users to
t
proviide more infformation ab
bout themselvves such as interests, hoobbies, favouurite books or
o
films, and even relationship
r s
status. Howeever, there are
a other soccial network sites, such as
a

73
Match.com, where most people prefer to be anonymous. Thus, linking users to their real
identity can sometimes be rather difficult. Nevertheless, individuals can sometimes be
identified with face re-identification.

Majority of users will not alter their privacy setting, allowed a large number of
unknown users to have access to their personal information (the default setting originally
allowed friends, friends of friends, and non friends of the same network to have full view
of a user‘s profile). It is possible for users to block other users from locating them on
Facebook, but this must be done by individual basis, and would therefore appear not to be
commonly used for a wide number of people. Most users do not realize that while they
make use of the security features on Facebook the default setting is restored after each
update. All of this has led to many concerns that users are displaying far too much
information on social networking sites which may have serious implications on their privacy.

Sexual predators

Most social networking sites are committed to ensure that use of their services is
as safe as possible. However, due to the high content of personal information placed on
social networking sites, as well as the ability to hide behind a pseudo-identity, such sites
have become increasingly popular for sexual predators. In response to concerns,
Facebook Help Centre has set up a system whereby users may notify on suspected sex
offers which, if proven to be accurate, will result in their account being terminated. While
the numbers may remain small, it has been noted that the number of sexual predators
caught using social networking sites has been increasing.

Stalking

The potential ability for stalking users on social networking sites has been noted.
Popular social networking sites make it easy to build a web of friends and acquaintances,
and share with them their photos, whereabouts, contact information, and interests without
ever getting the chance to actually meet them. With the amount of information that users
post about themselves online, it is easy for users to become a victim of stalking without
even being aware of the risk. 63% of Facebook profiles are visible to the public, meaning
if one Google someone’s name and add "+Facebook" in the search bar they pretty much
will see most of the persons profiles. Cyber-stalking is a criminal offense that comes into

74
play under state anti-stalking laws and harassment laws. A cyber-stalking conviction can
result in a restraining order, probation, or even criminal penalties against the assailant,
including jail.

Unintentional fame

Privacy concerns have also been raised over a number of high-profile incidents
which can be considered embarrassing for users. Various internet memes have been started
on social networking sites, or been used as a means towards their spread across the internet.
Along with other incidents of videos being posted on social networking sites, this
highlights the ability for personal information to be rapidly transferred between users.

Online Victimization

Social networks are designed for individuals to socially interact with other people
over the Internet. However, some individuals engaged in undesirable online social
behaviours creating negative impacts on other people’s online experiences. It has created
a wide range of online interpersonal victimization. Social network victimization appears
largely in adolescent and teens, and the type of victimizations includes sexual advances
and harassments. Recent research has reported approximately 9% of online victimization
involves in social network activities. It has been noted that many of these victims are girls
who have sexually appealed over these social network sites. Negative social behaviours
such as aggressive attitudes and discussing sexual related topics motivate the offenders to
achieve their goals. All in all, positive online social behaviours are promoted to help
reduce and avoid online victimization.

Privacy Concerns

Twitter has admitted that they have scanned and imported their user's phone
contacts onto the website database so that they can learn more about their users. Most
users were unaware that Twitter is created this way for new users to search for their
friends. Twitter has its privacy guidelines. More than 1,000 companies are waiting in line
to get access to millions of tweets from users that are using the popular social networking
website. Companies believe that by using data mining technologies they would be able to
gather important information that can be used for marketing and advertising.

75
Response to criticism

Many social networking organisations have responded to criticism and concerns


over privacy. It is claimed that changes to default settings, the storage of data and sharing
with third parties have all been updated and corrected in the light of criticism, and/or
legal challenges. However, many critics remain unsatisfied, noting that fundamental
changes to privacy settings in many social networking sites remain minor, and argue that
social networking companies prefer to criticise users rather than adapt their policies.

Exhibit No.3.14.1. Factors leading to Deactivation of SNS Accounts

Source: XVIII Annual International Conference of the Society of Operations Management


(SOM-14).

3.15 HOW TO REMAIN SAFE IN SNS

Using or not using a social networking site is an individual decision. But they
must be aware of certain things when discussing about the private life in public. Some of
the tips that make the users safe on the networking sites are:

Change the profile privacy now. Keep the information accessible only to people
in the friend list.

Don’t accept friendship request from strangers. Often many users judge
particular person online, by his/her profile picture and personal information. This
is the first mistake that cyber criminals wanted the users to do.

76
Don’t post very personal information on the profile. It includes the users email
id, date of birth, contact number, home address and information about their family
members.

Be cautious while posting photo. Ensure users photo background doesn’t show
about the actual whereabouts.

Don’t post current location when on a tour. Posting this information on social
networking site is just like inviting criminals.

Don’t post negative things about life. This is just like maligning the users own
image. Users’ friends are monitoring their activity and one such mistake can
cause havoc in future.

Make distance from ex’s profile. This might seem the users little cruel, but once
they decide to quit a relationship there is no meaning again visiting their ex-
partners’ profile. If the people want to have a good life in future, then unfriend the
ex from friend list.

Don’t substitute real friends with virtual friends. Facebook is a great tool to
connect new people across world. But they can never be the users’ real friends. Users
need real friends to enhance their social image and reduce stress and anxiety.

Avoid using Social networking sites in work hours. When users try to use social
networking sites during work hour, it not only affects their work performance but
also increases chances of getting fired.

3.16 SNS - A Global Phenomenon

By 2004 social networking websites were growing at a rapid speed. "Friendster


gained momentum in the Pacific Islands, Orkut became the premier social networking
website in Brazil before growing rapidly in India".

There were also smaller countries that adapted to the social networking phoneme.
Namely Latin American countries widely used a social networking website called Hi5.
Japan widely used Mixi, LunarStorm took off in Sweden and UK and Ireland users
embraced Bebo. In addition to this previously admired communication and community
services began implementing social networking features onto their websites.

77
Blogging has turned
d into a new
w way of media.
m Bloggging websites with SN
NS
featurres are very
y popular. In
I the US websites
w thaat integrate both bloggiing and SN
NS
featurres, such as LiveJournall, Xanga andd Vox have a wide and looyal followiing. In Francce
Skyroock is king
g, and Wind
dows Live Spaces dom
minate varioous marketss worldwidee,
including Spain, Italy and Mexico.
M While English speaking
s bloogging and SNS
S websitees
are huge,
h SNS's like QQ and
a Live Sppaces are juust as large in active user
u sizes as
a
MySppace. But they
t don't generate
g as much coveerage in thee US becauuse their firsst
languuage used in
n not English
h, therefore this makes it harder to track their impact
i in th
he
sociaal networking
g world.

Exhibit No
o.3.16.1. Glo
obal Month
hly Active Users for Top
p Social Plaatforms

Source: Company
C releease, BI inteelligence estiimates 2016.

3.17 IMPACT
I OF
O SOCIAL
L NETWOR
RKING SITES IN INDIIA

India reprresents one of the fastesst-growing markets


m for Social Netw
working Sites.
SNSss have beccome a co
omplete pacckage; provviding communication, connectionn,
netwoorking, enterrtainment, in
nformation, and
a much more.
m Globallly, India now
w ranks as th
he
sevennth largest market
m for social
s netwoorking. Manyy mobile deevelopment companies
c i
in
Indiaa provide cu
ustomized so
olutions to optimize
o soccial networkking websitees for mobille
devicces.

78
After ‘tech savvy’ it is the ‘social media savvy’ that has become synonymous
with today’s generation. About 2/3rd of Indians online spend time on different social
networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. Even the trend of
sending personal emails seems to have become obsolete as compared to social media.
Interaction, live chat, status updates, image- as well as video-sharing are few of the major
aspects that play a role in the popularity of social media. On the other hand, customer’s
responses, interaction and brand awareness is why the companies are using social media
in India and across the globe. Thereby, multiple roles played by social media beyond its
core role of mere communicating information are leading to its popularity.

By December 2012, the number of social media users in urban India had reached
62 million. A sudden availability of smart phones and mobile Internet has led to a spurt in
the use of social media. All the business ventures in India rely on social media to
understand their consumer base, for brand awareness and interaction. Indian citizens use
social media to build virtual communities, groups and to interact and chat. So, there is no
doubt that Information and Technology, in particular rapidly increasing social media
plays an important role in shaping the mind of customers towards certain products and
brands. At the same time, it is used for entertainment and leisure by most of the Indians
online. Each day, about 100 million Indians are engaged in social media, more than the
population of Germany.

Social networking sites have integrated into the daily routine of millions of Indian
users. The post independence generation holds India’s present and future in its hands.
The decisions made and the patterns set by this generation will affect the future. The
challenge before Indian society is to bridge the gap between tradition and modernity.

The society has seen tremendous changes as the media took the online form.
The Indian society possesses a large number of the youth and with the easier access to the
internet this generation is often marked as the online generation. It is pretty much evident
that social networking has changed the Indian society. The changes that happened in the
Indian society after social media savy are as follows:

79
Transmission of news

The latest report conveyed that the online generation grasps more news from the
social networking sites than the news portals. The massive outreach, wide presence, and
mass attraction have turned the social media into a news-sharing platform. Easy to use
technology has made everyone stay updated with happenings around them.

Political platform

Social networking has driven the Indian politics to a different level. The
Parliamentary elections of 2014 were fought equally on the ground and online. The India
politics has reformed with a use of this amazing tool. It have made the leaders more
accountable and made them interact with the public in an efficient manner.

Business advertisements

The entrepreneurship and the start-ups are considered to be the future of the
Indian business industry. Low budget start-ups are provided and eminent platform to
advertise and reach a large number of people in the lesser amount of time. This ensured
the success of many amateur ideas.

So far yet so close

One of the best things that social networking has done is to bring the people
closer. In the present scenario, nears and dears are always just an online message away.
Video calls, audio calls and all the integrated features have turned the world into a
heaven. The networking may appear bliss but, Indian society has witnessed the opposite
aspect as well. Social networking has proved a boon for a number of people like the ones
who were looking to endorse their brands or exchange their political views.

Expression got the platform

The freedom of expression has always been intact in the country. Be it before the
social media or after it; only what has changed is the mode of the communication. As the
world drifted closer, the expression took a new face. Many social and political reforms
have been started this way. In the age of startups, many entrepreneurs have met their co-
founders online as they shared the same vision and had an opportunity to present the

80
same on a common platform. A simple example of this can be taken from how the
content goes viral. The viral ‘fever’ is not because the content is extremely good always
but most of the times, people feel a sense of belongingness with same.

Social Change through Social Networking Sites

India is in a transitional phase of development with the spread of Cyber Culture,


Technology and Social Networking Sites. A new global culture i.e. a Consumer culture,
with a panorama of goods and services, transnational fashions and cosmopolitan personal
relationships has emerged. People redefine culture itself as a source of both individual
and social identities, as computer networks circulate ideas, information and images
throughout the world.

As more and more citizens gain access to broadband technologies in Indian


society, an increasing number seeks social connectivity through the net. Social
networking sites enable families and friends to converse in a way as if they are in the
same place. The public has re-conceptualized the notion of a community after the
introduction of social networking sites.

These sites serve as platforms for political-social organization and are not simply
used for personal interests. They are not simple sources of entertainment but are vital
tools of communication and collaboration. A social networking site indeed provides a
visible stage in new ways and means that street protests and rallies cannot provide
speakers and protestors.

3.18 MANAGING THE LEGAL RISKS OF SOCIAL NETWORKING

Broadcasting thoughts, images, location and more have become the norm. Sharing
deepest feelings to hundreds of users’ closest friends - or enemies - has led to an
explosion of privacy issues. Police and insurance companies use Facebook and similar
sites to find for incriminating evidence, and future employers want to review the
information to make sure they aren't going to embarrass them.

81
ARTICLE 66A OF IT ACT AND SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP IN INDIA

Article 66A of the IT Act

The Information Technology Act 2000 was passed by both the houses of
parliament in May 2000 and was put into effect in October. This was India’s one of the
earliest attempts to take cognizance of the Internet phenomena and to come up with a
legislation that would prevent cybercrimes. The Act was further amended in 2008 and the
Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 was enforced in October 2009. Since
then, however, Article 66A of the IT Act has remained mired in controversy. According
to Section 66A, “sending offensive message through communication service (electronic
means)” is a punishable offense attracting an imprisonment of up to three years and an
additional fine.

The act describes a violator as anyone who leverages computer resource or a


communication device and sends information that is “grossly offensive or has menacing
character” and someone who deliberately disseminates false information to cause
“inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity and
hatred”. According to the act, an individual would find himself on the wrong side of the
law if he sends “any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing
annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about
the origin of such messages”.

Criticism and Controversy

The offensiveness of a communication sent through an e-mail, mobile device or a


tablet is a very subjective judgement. The perils of this loose legislation are heightened in
the face of social media networks and platforms where diverse people converge.
Criticism and analysis is perhaps the heart and soul of Twitter. On Facebook, a witty
cartoon, photo or a sarcastic quote is quickly shared and broadcasted to a lot many
people. YouTube’s parody videos are now as popular as newspapers were a decade ago.

82
The most significant of all the criticism forwarded against the article is that it
contradicts the Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the constitution under Article 19(2).
Political dissent is the foundation of a flourishing democracy and the 66A legislation may
well be used to curb our right to disagree.

3.19 THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AND APPS

Social networking sites paves way to connect, network, and promote with one
another in the digital age. Savvy business owners have to know and use a variety of
social platforms to stay relevant. The most important channels and tools the users need to
be aware of are:-

83
Exhibit No.3.19.1 Twitter

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to


send and read short 140-character messages called "tweets".
Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are
unregistered can only read them. Twitter’s interface is easy to learn
and use, and setting up a new profile only takes minutes. Users access Twitter through
the website interface, SMS or mobile device app.

Exhibit No.3.19.2 Facebook

Facebook is a for-profit corporation and online social media and


social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United
States. After registering to use the site, users can create a user
profile indicating their name, occupation, schools attended and so
on. Users can add other users as "friends", exchange messages, post status updates and
digital photos, share digital videos and links, use various software applications ("apps"),
and receive notifications when others update their profiles or make posts. Additionally,
users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, hobbies or
other topics.

Exhibit No.3.19.3 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business


community. With basic membership, a member can only establish
connections with someone who has worked with, knows professionally.
It’s great for meeting customers, getting in touch with vendors, recruiting
new employees, and keeping up with the latest in business or industry news.

Exhibit No.3.19.4 Xing

XING is a career-oriented social networking site for enabling a


small-world network for professionals. The company claims that it
is used by people from over 200 countries. The platform offers
personal profiles, groups, discussion forums, event coordination, and other common

84
social community features. Basic membership is free. But many core functions, like
searching for people with specific qualifications or messaging people to whom one is not
already connected, can only be accessed by the premium members.

Exhibit No.3.19.5 Renren

The Renren is a Chinese social networking service. It is popular


among college students. Literally translating into “everyone’s
website,” Renren is China’s largest social platform. Hugely popular
with the younger crowd, it works in a way similar to Facebook,
allowing users to share quick thoughts, update their moods, connect
with others, and add posts or ideas to a blog-like stream. Registered users can add friends
to the friend list. By specifying educational information in the profile, a user can easily
find other users. Users can be also affiliated with groups.

Exhibit No.3.19.6 Google+

Google+ is an interest-based social network that is owned and


operated by Google. By combining the best of Facebook and Twitter
into one site and backing it by the power of the world’s largest search
engine, Google has given users a social site that has a little something
for everyone. A Google+ user profile is a public visible account of a user that is attached
to many Google properties. It includes basic social networking services like a profile photo,
about section, background photo, cover photo, previous work and school history, interests,
places lived and an area to post status updates.

Exhibit No.3.19.7 Disqus

Disqus is a networked community platform used by hundreds of


thousands of sites all over the web. With Disqus, users’ website gains a
feature-rich comment system complete with social network integration,
advanced administration and moderation options, and other extensive community
functions. Most importantly, by utilizing Disqus, the users can instantly plugging into
their web-wide community network, connecting millions of global users to their small

85
blog or large media hub. It works on just about any type of website or blog, a tool for
commenting, managing feedback on their own website (or other Disqus-
enabled websites), and managing spam/troll type messages, it’s invaluable.

Exhibit No.3.19.8 LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn Pulse was a news aggregation app for Android, iOS and
HTML5 browsers, originally released in 2010. Even though Pulse is
technically a part of LinkedIn, it’s big and important enough to
deserve its own entry. Serving as something between a blog and
“best of” outlet, it’s the perfect medium sharing new ideas and keeping up on the thought
leaders in users industry.

Exhibit No.3.19.9 Snapchat


Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile application
created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. It
evolved into a mix of private messaging and public content, including
brand networks, publications, and live events such as sports and music. This surprisingly-
addictive app gives user the ability to take a picture, add art and text if they’d like, and
then send it to recipients for a set amount of time. The temporary nature of the pictures
would therefore encourage frivolity and emphasize a more natural interaction.

Exhibit No.3.19.10 Tumblr

Tumblr lets the user effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes,
links, music, and videos from their browser, phone, desktop, email or
wherever happen to be. It is a cross between a social networking site (like
Facebook and Twitter) and a blog. This platform is different from many
others in that it essentially hosts microblogs for its users. Individuals and companies, in turn,
can fill their blogs with multimedia (like images and short video clips). The fast-paced nature
of Tumblr makes it ideal for memes and other forms of fun or viral content. It is often
described as ‘microblog’ as people usually post short snippets of text and quick snaps as
opposed to longer diary style entries found in more traditional blogs. It appears to have a
younger user demographic in comparison with other social networks. To register for a
Tumblr blog, the user must be over thirteen years of age.

86
Exhibit No.3.19.11 Pinterest

Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin or cork board that allows users to


find and curate images and videos. Serving as a giant virtual idea and
inspiration board, Pinterest has made a huge impact on social media in
the last few years. Especially popular with women and the do-it-
yourself crowd, it lets one to share pictures, creative thoughts, or (especially) before-and-
after pictures of projects that others can pin, save, or duplicate.

Exhibit No.3.19.12 Twoo

Twoo is an online community where users play games, visit profiles,


meet new people, and chat with others. This Belgian social network
site is geared for the 25 and under crowd all over the world. Alongside
normal social features like posts, updates, and photo sharing, it also boasts online games
and chat features that make it popular with younger users who want to stay entertained while
connecting with each other. Twoo acquire user data from form spring and decided to use a
large chunk of it to sign users up to its dating service, regardless of if they were interested or
not. Naturally, people were upset that this had happened without their consent.

Exhibit No.3.19.13 MyMFB

MyMFB is a Muslim-oriented social networking website. It was


launched in May 2010 in response to a controversial group on
Facebook entitled Everybody Draw Mohammed Day and Pakistan's
block of Facebook in response. This site aims to connect the faith’s
1.5+ billion followers into a single social platform. While that might sound ambitious,
it’s growing quickly and offers many of the same post, update, and sharing features as the
original Facebook, and is already immensely popular in some parts of the world.

Exhibit No.3.19.14 YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing service where users can watch, like,


share, comment and upload their own videos. The video service can be
accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and via mobile phones. The main
functions of YouTube are: a) Users can search for and watch videos,

87
b) Create a personal YouTube channel, c) Upload videos to their channel,
Like/Comment/share other YouTube videos, d) Users can subscribe/follow other
YouTube channels and users and e) Create playlists to organize videos and group videos
together as a video sharing service,

Exhibit No.3.19.15 Instagram

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social


networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share
them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of
other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Not only it
allow user to share via Twitter, Facebook, and the Instagram website, they can choose from a
variety of photo filters and invite friends to comment on their photos or ideas.

Exhibit No.3.19.16 Vine

Vine is a short-form video sharing service where users can share six-second-
long looping video clips. This site (also available as an app) offers users the
chance to share and view brief video clips. While that theoretically offers a
virtually endless range of uses, most of Vine’s content is entertainment-focused, with a heavy
preference towards “viral” and “meme” clips that are easy to share. Vine has attracted different
types of uses, including short-form comedy and music performances, video editing, and stop
motion animation. The service has also been used for journalism.

Exhibit No.3.19.17 vk.com

VK is the largest European online social networking service. It is


available in several languages, and is especially popular among
Russian-speaking users. It allows users to message each other publicly
or privately, to create groups, public pages and events, share and tag images, audio and
video, and to play browser-based games. Promoting itself as Europe’s largest social
media site, vk.com is essentially the Russian version of Facebook, with the same kinds of
profiles, messaging, and games user would expect. Like Facebook, vk.com allows users
to enter both personal and professional information about themselves, and to follow or
show support for organizations and businesses.

88
Exhibit No.3.19.18 Meetup
Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates
offline group meetings in various localities around the world.
Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a
common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies,
health, pets, careers or hobbies. Users enter their city or their
postal code and tag the topic they want to meet about. The website/app helps them locate a
group to arrange a place and time to meet. There are meetups centered on just about
everything, from music to hobbies, and get-togethers are almost always open to newcomers.
That makes it perfect for exploring an interest and making new friends at the same time. The
service is free of charge to individuals who log in as members. They have the ability to join
different groups as defined by the rules of the individual groups themselves.

Exhibit No.3.19.19 Secret

Secret was an iOS and Android app service that allow people to
share messages anonymously within their circle of friends, friends
of friends, and publicly. This might be the best social media app
most people haven’t tried. It’s great for fun interactions, idea
starters, or just finally getting something off the chest.

Exhibit No.3.19.20 Medium

Medium has been called a lot of things: an online magazine, a


blogging platform, a blend of platform and publisher and an
upscale content farm. The site encourages great writing and a
superior experience for the reader in several ways. With lots of helpful advice, tips, and
articles, it can give the user everything they need to start writing.

89