Personalised News

What channels do you watch, which Twitter accounts do you follow? The one that tells you your opinion is right or the one that makes you think ‘Kaun hai ye log’? How can they possibly think like that?

This article is boring, I know. But that is the point. It does not talk about Rhea’s text messages to Shushant Singh Rajput, and hence, many of you may just skip to the end. 

This appeal of disinformation works, because news channels compete with entertainment channels to get the highest screen-time. To increase this TRP, the news is made ‘more masaledar’ Since truth is boring, and money is wanted, why would the media houses refrain from making money? It is not their ‘inherent goodness to report the truth’ that will get the money. 

Media nowadays controls what we think about and how we think about it. As you see, it is the editor of the large news channel who decides what topics will and will not be included in our dinner discussions. 

Although alternative media has managed to diversify the ambit of information among the masses, especially with the extensive exposure to technology, it is available at everyone’s fingertips. Alternative media here refers to the counter-hegemonic news content produced both at the macro and micro level. 

In fact, it is simple, one wants to know the benefits of a new policy by the Modi government, sees Arnab Goswami and to understand the demerits switch to NDTV. This cable TV polarisation is now consolidated in a much more effective way through the ‘personalised recommendations’. 

The mushrooming of such sources in the form of Instagram pages, websites, blogs and YouTube accounts have added to more confusion and streaming of endless information in the modern world that is impossible to absorb and process. 

A report by the Reuters Institute shows that 57 per cent of users worry about whether the news they read is real or fake. Despite the dichotomisation of presenting alternative media as an ideal type of ‘purer’ media, contrasted with the ‘elitism’ and ‘corruption’ of professional press, it is essential to note that the channels that host these alternative media houses often employ attention engineers to borrow principles from Las Vegas casinos to make their platform more addictive for its users. 

The never-ending competition between Facebook Snapchat Twitter Instagram YouTube, Tick-tock, Google and many more of making the most screen time that translates into greater monetisation gives them enough incentive to twist, crack and customise your news wall that changes with every refresh. 

Your attention is the product. Sold to the highest bidder.

To get the specialise news world you get on your social media platform, the reality is changed. You get a customise reality. The gradual slight and imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception is the product sold to the advertisers by your social media platforms.

What you see is not what your friend sitting right beside you will. It is giving you the truth that is tailored for you – your truth. 

Over time you have the sense that everybody agrees with you because everyone in your news feed does– This is the way we are socialised. When that happens at scale, you are no longer able to reason with or even consume information that contradicts the worldview you have created. It is very well like a book offering a different definition for the same word depending on your beliefs. 

Each side of believers has their own hegemonic notions backed by their personalised news walls conditioning them to deepen the divides. Algorithms and manipulative politicians are becoming so expert at learning how to trigger us, getting so good at creating fake news that we absorb as if it were reality. An MIT study confirms that fake news spreads 6 times faster.

Media has been assuming the power today to destabilise and erode the very fabric of society. When you choose the channel that tells you are right – that is where the entire problem lies.

One cannot navigate problems when the idea of truth becomes blurred between reality and its reproductions.

Humanity and Media by Arushi Sharma.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Ayush Chauhan says:

    That poster hits differently
    Kaun hai yeh log kahan de aate hai

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Preeti attarwala says:

    अतिसुन्दर लेख l जिन बारीकीयों से तुमने ये लेख लिखा है, बहुत है तारीफे काबिल है तुम्हारा चुनाव, विश्लेषण उत्तम कोटि की रचना से सुसज्जित है l इसी तरह अपनी कलम चलाकर नई बुलंदियों को छुओं l All the best dr😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shobha Shekhar says:

    Good Going Arushi!
    God bless you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nisha Gupta says:

    Great Arushi keep it up beta God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is very true – your attention is the product sold to the highest bidder.

    Liked by 1 person

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