“When a culture simply shrugs about what happens to the people in a war of any kind, it breaks the fragile sequence, the bond between all the people.”
The concept of war or social media is not unknown to any. But every war is not about the battlefield and weapons and soldiers. Some wars are fought by communities against each other for their respective beliefs. These communities are driven by like minds and similar judgments and fashion. However, what remains constant is the fact that people get hurt and justice and peace are risked anyway.
One such known instance is the communal war in Sri Lanka. It recently met its end on May 18th after 26 years of rivalry pursued by progressive Colombo governments against the dissident Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It started on 23rd July 1983 and by May 2009, 100,000 lives were already lost.
Social media is one of the most popular trends among people nowadays. Moreover, there are uncountable social media platforms with an uncountable number of people. We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it. However, the fact that social media has become a major platform for communal wars cannot be determined as right as wrong. Let’s understand the delicate relationship between communal wars and social media. Also, let’s understand the impact of our actions on social media.
Communal war is a type of savagery execution across ethnic or mutual lines. The brutal gatherings feel fortitude for their faith and beliefs, and casualties are picked dependent on bunch participation. In simple words, a communal war is unique concerning state-based struggles. The two communities associated with a communal conflict are dependent upon a higher public power. This authority dominates state reserves and the public armed force. Likewise, it suggests that the government willingness and limit with regards to intercession influence the turn of events and the executives of the conflict.
A communal war is a consequence of disparity of opinion and beliefs. People often believe that communal wars are symmetrical. Somehow, sometimes the chain of events or protests turns violent. However, the bloodshed and damage are somehow equivalent to a civil war. Peaceful communal protests are the best way to convey messages to the concerned authority or audience. Similarly, immediate and strict action is the best way to end a communal war and develop stable peace. Unfortunately, South Asia and Africa witness the greatest number of communal wars.
Causes of Communal Wars
Communal war results from two sorts of progress- expansions in dread and expansions in the practicality of acquiring points forcibly. Fear or frailty turns into a trigger of war when an abused gathering sees an increased danger to its social or actual endurance. The fear of dominance or oppression by others breeds fear in people. It does not take long before that fear turns to anger which eventually takes the shape of mass mobilizations and protests.
A researcher named Colm Campbell studied the exact information, turn of events, and grouping of occasions during communal wars in South Africa, Palestinian Territories, and Northern Ireland. It declared that a communal war ordinarily follows when there is a corruption of law and order. The state fails to provide order, security, and justice and causes instability. It leads to angry mass gatherings willing to witness an immediate action.
However, another researcher named Kimuli Kahara tracks down that nearby ethnic isolation increments communal violence by diminishing interethnic trust as opposed to by making it simpler to sort out brutality. In sum, the basic reason behind a communal war is the difference of opinion between two communities because of their respective beliefs and ideologies. It can be political, cultural, religious, etc.
Consequences of Communal War
You cannot be confident that a communal war causes any less bloodshed. One historic evidence to support the violence and injustice in a communal war is the Gujrat riots of 2002 in India. It was a three-day time of inter-communal brutal violence in the western Indian territory of Gujarat. The war took place between the two religious’ communities- Hindu and Muslims. However, true figures indicated that the mobs finished with 1,044 dead, 223 missings, and 2,500 harmed Indian citizens.
A huge number of communal wars have co-existed with us for centuries and are prevailing still somehow. The globe has witnessed a great deal of bloodshed and destruction because of communal wars. Lots of people have lost their lives and lots of people have lost their loved ones. Be it Nigeria, Israel, Africa, or India, communal wars have ruined the nations. The common people and the innocent suffer the most from it. Their loss is incompensable in any way.
Homes suffer destruction. Lands are ruined. Education and justice and a fair chance of equality are compromised. Moreover, communal wars make the nation vulnerable and unstable. Rivals and antagonists think of it as an opportunity to cause more destruction and fuel the fire. A communal war not just affects the democracy and freedom of a country but also risks its law and order, communal harmony, and social fabric.
“In a world of algorithms, hashtags, and followers, know the true importance of human connection.”
Wikipedia explains social media as interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. Undoubtedly, social media has changed the course of our life. Some of the most popular social media sites are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Linked In, etc. Every social media platform follows its fashion and has its purpose. In 2019, there were around 3.5 billion web-based media users across the planet.
Twitter– Twitter is an American microblogging and informal communication administration on which people post and associate with messages known as “tweets”. The official tagline is, “It’s what’s happening.” Twitter is majorly to propagate news and thoughts. Twitter has approximately 175 million registered users.
Facebook– Facebook is one of the five major American innovation multi-industry organizations. Facebook is the biggest and most perceived web-based media network. It makes it an amazing passage point for organizations hoping to foster their web-based media system. Facebook has 2.80 billion monthly active users.
YouTube– YouTube is an online video sharing and web-based media stage claimed by Google. Throughout the planet, its clients observe more than one billion hours of YouTube recordings every day. YouTube recorded an expected 1.68 billion users in 2019.
Importance of Social Media
We are all well acquainted with the good and the bad of social media. On one hand, social media has proved to be the best network for bringing people together and staying connected, updated, and aware of our surroundings and the world. It is a free tool that helps us to build our social personalities and wave confidently in the future. Apart from socializing, it is also very helpful for business operations. Whereas, on the other hand, it has inculcated wrong habits and ideas amongst all of us. Social media has made living similar to performance. Moreover, our privacy remains at constant risk.
Social media websites flash every news immediately after it happens. Hashtags and trends form immediately and a huge number of people start following that. Social media is very helpful in spreading any news across people. Social media impacts the way we think and view the world. It changes our perception. It adds to our opinions. A wave existing on social media for the right cause is very helpful. But similarly, a piece of negative information is also made viral without any authenticity. Social media shapes our minds and thoughts and thus it becomes very important that we pay attention to the knowledge we grasp.
Role of Social Media in Communal Wars
“I don’t pay attention to the world ending. It has ended for me many times and began again in the morning.”
As determined by the 2019 stats above, around 3.5 billion people actively use social media. Social media has only experienced growth. Therefore, more than half of the world’s population today uses social media actively and regularly. Whenever something happens in any part of the world, it is instantly put up on social media platforms. In the situation of communal war, many want to end the fight, and equally many aims to fuel the fire as well.
The goal can be to gain help, support, sympathy, or spread love, hatred, or anger. Also, it can be motivated to raise voices and seek justice and action. It depends on the mindset of the creator to decide that he/she flashes the news to the common public in what fashion. Whether they decide to put the negative side, the positive side of the true reality of the story in front of the people. How the news speaks to its audience say a lot about the reaction and the popularity that it will achieve. The news propagates quickly and reaches more and more people in no time.
As a human, we are more likely to judge and comment whenever we encounter something. It’s human psychology and thus there is only a handful who don’t judge the book by its cover. As more and more people encounter the same news or fact or situation, they judge it in the manner in which it speaks to them. Only a few cares to learn more about it and then make the necessary comments. Many ignore but much act too.
Social media gathers a huge audience for any news and thus many commentators. It brings together people with the same thinking. The post either overwhelms them or outrages them. In both cases, they are more likely to react. A movement is more likely to be formed. As a result, there can be two outcomes of a communal war wave existing on social media- either it will calm the flames or fuel the fire.
July Pew Research Center overview indicates that approximately a quarter (23%) of grown-up online media users in the United States and 17% of grown-ups, by and large, say that they have changed their perspectives about a political or social issue in light of something they saw via web-based media in the previous year.
Most Popular Wars on Social Media
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a global social development. It was shaped in the United States in 2013. Its devotion is towards battling bigotry and against Black brutality and treacherous killings of Black individuals by police. It requests equality and justice. In 2020 George Floyd, an unarmed Black man died after a white Minneapolis cop bowed on Floyd’s neck for a few minutes despite Floyd’s struggle. An observer uploaded a video of Floyd’s last minutes. It immediately got viral and set off gigantic showings in urban communities all through the United States and across the globe. There were 206 Tweets each second about Black Lives Matter. It made up 17% of all discussions on Twitter. That is vertical of 390M Tweets is the sum. Furthermore, Black Lives Matter has 4.5 million followers on Instagram.
Israel and Palestine’s conflicts are a never-ending series of rivalry between the two nations for land and religion. The recent reaction of Israel to the continuous triggering of Palestine gained a lot of global attention. Nonetheless, it trended drastically on social media platforms as well. Around 300 people died in sum. A social media war is going on between the two communities now. Many justify the action of Israel. Nonetheless, many are demanding justice for the Palestinians too. The State of Israel’s true record on Twitter posted 12 tweets loaded up with 3,168 rocket emoticons and said “Just to give you all some perspective, these are the total amount of rockets shot at Israeli civilians. Each one of these rockets is meant to kill.” There was a huge wave of hashtags, tweets, and Facebook and Instagram posts.
The disparities between India and Pakistan have been prevailing for decades. The soldiers are constantly fighting each other at the border for land. Furthermore, the religious differences between both communities are no less. Both nations witness violent attacks and defense. The war on land and social media acquire equal magnitude. There are several Instagram accounts and pages created by both communities dedicated to their cause. It is a constant war that keeps on going on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It is more likely to spread hatred and negativity for each other.
What are we doing wrong?
Social media wars have two impacts. Either they help the people to distinguish right from wrong and demand for peace and stability or they provoke innocent minds and make them angry and determined for revenge and equality in its wrong meaning. We as individuals stand responsible for whatever actions we take on social media. Social media sites track and trace each word, each trend, each post, and each activity. It might not be evident but it is true.
Whenever something happens, it gains the instant attention of social media. Much news and information are spread amidst the chaos. It is a common belief that half the news on social media is fake. Now that is very unfortunate as it gives rise to misunderstandings. Fake news produces anger and hatred amongst the people. Instead of reacting immediately and picking sides, we should be mature enough to understand the problem from its root. We should be careful enough to reach a decision. We share and react to anything that we feel like. What we don’t understand is that fake news propagates faster than the facts.
Here are some stats. 35.5% of twenty to thirty-year-olds read political news on Facebook. In 2020, Facebook eliminated 7 million posts that contained fake news. Online media insights show that when it lines up with their convictions, 56% of Facebook clients can’t perceive counterfeit news. 10% of US grown-ups have purposely shared fake news.
Therefore, it becomes important that we dig deep and study and analyze the entire situation before concluding. Many people see whatever we post or upload on any social media platform. It influences them and forces them to react as well. Many feel offended and infuriated and many feel insulted and hurt. Also, many feel overwhelmed. Now imagine, if you knowingly or unknowingly shared fake news then what impact would it have created on the mind of so many others. Therefore, be careful and responsible for your actions as many sentiments stay connected with them.
“The power of social media is that it forces necessary changes and actions.”
Communal war is some sort of disagreement between two communities that value and respect their own beliefs. The difference in opinion creates misunderstanding and fear. It outrages them. It does not take long before this disagreement turns to protests which often become violent. Social media, being the largest medium of communication and connection spreads any news with exceptional speed. It encourages the audience to act and make a decision. We believe it to be true and thus it influences us and we lose our ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Moreover, we often promote fake news and hateful messages just because we believe that it is serving and aligning with our thoughts and community. We don’t understand that it is false and we need to study more about it before reacting in any manner.