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Nepalese society adapting to Social Media Technology, Albeit With Pros And Cons

By Phurpa Sherpa, KATHMANDU: In this 21st century, the contribution of technology, which we do not just see through our eyes, but can feel as well, has been steadily going up. From our day-to-day activities, ranging from cooking to washing clothes and cleaning dishes, technologies are used mainly to ease the hassles of human life.
A technology is not just limited to our daily activities but also used to communicate with people who live far from each other. People interact through different types of social media including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so as to know what is happening in the world. Day by day, there is a rapid increase in the number of different YouTube channels. Most of the YouTubers only upload videos to get a large number of subscribers. However, they do not care whether the videos they upload are reliable or not.

Is every social media publishing the actual information in their YouTube channel? This is a serious question, which needs to be answered by every concerned person or channel. Only for the sake of viewership, many of the YouTubers upload videos related to social issues and family problems, and some of them even use some vulgar words. This goes beyond the ethics of journalism, which says they should not resort to the vulgar expressions.
Furthermore, people these days upload the videos showing the real issues of the society, but without depicting a complete picture. The videos may be genuine but the viewers may get confused, as they might have been uploaded without an extensive research. Such a situation may give birth to mix reactions from among the viewers. Sometimes the viewers even suspect other genuine videos owing to the general lack of trust for the videos uploaded by the YouTubers and other journalists.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sahakul Bahadur Thapa of Metropolitan Police Crime Division, many YouTubers upload videos and the Facebook users have also been sharing photos, videos and other contents in the social media. There are some YouTubers, who upload fact-based information and provide positive messages to the society. However, there are also a number of YouTubers who upload videos, but do not hesitate to add some negative contents in their channel only for the sake of increasing subscribers.
These days, most of the Youtubers are also trying to highlight the contents by using different kinds of negative tittles.
“Nepal Police is serious on these kinds of activities,” said SSP Thapa. “If any social media is found to have hampered the personal life of anyone by engaging in those activities, we have the cyber crime police force to seriously deal with those offence.”
SSP Thapa said the police first establishes contacts with the concerned persons and ask them to remove the video from the channel.

“If the YouTube videos have the possibility of harming the whole society or an individual’s life, then we thoroughly investigate the matter and try to solve the problem by informing the concerned YouTube channel and by taking proper actions,” he added.
Likewise, Deepak Khanal, who works as the Information Officer at the Press Council Nepal, said that those issues of social media have been in the radar of the Council since long.
“Social media savvies including YouTubers have been uploading videos irresponsibly just to increase subscribers and to get the advertisements,” Khanal said.
“In these cases, the Press council itself cannot take an action but can let the Nepal Telecommunications Authority know about those issues or can directly consult with the video up-loaders about the impact of the videos in the social media.”
Similarly, Raj Kumar Rai, a part-time job holder who lives at Boudha, Simaltar of Kathmandu, opines that a spike in social media forums and YouTube videos are directly or indirectly disseminating positive as well as negative messages to the society.

“Mostly, people from our society end up watching negative videos by trusting the misleading titles that plunge them into the negative videos. There are a number of YouTube videos which have some interesting titles but the contents are totally different,” Rai said.
As the cases of social media manipulation and misuse is growing, the onus lies on the government of Nepal and the Press Council to develop some strategies for an everlasting solution.

Though social media is very useful for getting information, it has some inbuilt negative impacts upon the society. Some videos are highly good and entertaining, while some videos are really harmful for the society and/or children. In this situation, while parents should keep a vigil on their children, the concerned authorities should keep a vigil on the YouTubers and other social media journalists, so as to prevent them from circulating negative messages to the society.

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