Saturday, July 22, 2006

Nonsense on The Big Fight

This is about The big Fight program broadcasted today on NDTV 24x7. It was a discussion about "Internet: Is it dangerous, should it be regulated" etc.

It was full of nonsense. I wonder how literate were the people on stage about the Internet usage/technology to discuss about this topic. The focus was on a very narrow subject of what people write on blogs. Later, it diverted a little bit towards child pornography and safeguarding minors from predators on Internet. One of them kept on saying that there should be regulation at the ISPs level, they should monitor what is put on Internet and what is not and then filter them; they didn't do their job properly as required by the law.. etc. That is is so much of nonsense. ISPs deal at the level of IP protocol. On top of that there are so many protocol layers. Information can be communicated in many different ways. There is no way anyone can or should want to regulate, control the information flow. It is like saying I'm providing telephone connections to people, therefore I'm responsible for what people talk to each other over it.
They said Internet allows anyone to say whatever they want no matter how derogatory & false it is, anonymously and therefore it is not accountable. And they say that is the difference between a conventional medial like news paper and TV to Internet. I say, if something is said anonymously, then it has least credibily. People believe or accept what is said based on who said it.
Not everything that is said and shown on tv channel is also true. So much of it will be the opinion of people who come on talk shows. News itself is such an influence on people. For most of it tv channel will have a disclaimer saying it is the participents opinion and not that of the tv channel. It may be agued that all these influence people to become violent/terrorist. Does that mean the tv channel is a terrorism instigating channel? People are mis-informed and ill-informed many times everyday. If someone decides to change their lives just based on what they hear from others, then they are mostly weak minded. Internet is not the only medium that can influence such people that way.
When someone says something (on a talk show, in a blog, wherever) I decide to accept it or reject it based purely on its merits and that depends on who is saying it. To simply assume that anyone can make you believe anything is just naive.

There are bigger perils of Internet like aiding easy anonymous mass piracy of Intellectual property which is unique to this medium and very difficult in any other medium. They never even mention this topic in their discussion. Its real sad to see our news media getting diluted like this.

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