In the process, the aim of these websites is not specific, nor avowed. They become a mass of information, ideas, and titbits from day to day lives affecting personal lives. People also use them to share lighter moments like humour, mood swings or even unhapiness! For example, a study in the UK showed that young people tend to share their more depressing moments on such websites. Another study in the same country, revealed that Facebook discovered an astonishing generation of young poets, set apart from the established literati.
The question is: what to write and how to write without defamation and hurting sensibilities?
This becomes difficult, if not complex when controversial events take place, or when a social revolution as in Egypt or Libya, is in the offing. So such networking websites perhaps cannot be divorced from some kind of activism, and online activism is becoming popular to mould and gauge opinion. It is also used to gather support from intellectuals, where a Mallika Sarabhai or a Teesta Setalwad, are active, or are used as a vehicle by supporters who think on similar lines. So yahoo groups are formed and become popular, and members of these groups also access Facebook and micro blogging websites such as Twitter. There is thus an interplay of such websites, networked into broad argumentative forces, or platforms for disseminating ideas and information.
I think we are living in a technological world crafted by speed, new ideas, information, activism, academics, literature, photo journalism or for that matter journalism. That is the reason for the popularity of community journalism, and these websites have also become such networking sites - expressions of community journalism.
It will be very difficult to combat them, but yes if laws are invoked, they must be universal.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
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