Social media is an efficient way to spread awareness and share experiences, breaking through geographical and social barriers. It helps address pressing social issues, enabling community participation as well as societal cohesion. Moreover, they are employed as means of collective action and mobilization to fight for social justice such as the Me-Too Movement, allowing the populace to become part of an active social movement. Although successful in certain cases, the pursuit of justice through social media has several ethical implications. ‘Trial by media’ often involves public shaming and vigilante behaviours, giving rise to mob rule. Social media has begun to represent a tribunal stand where often anyone that comes forward is assumed to be speaking the truth and public shaming represents a form of restorative justice where the punishment is social and professional humiliation.
As said “Rather leave the crime of the guilty unpunished than condemn the innocent”, there must be steps taken and laws imposed to cease the voices asking for legal procedures on social media which can influence and construct perceptions to a great extent, often provoking an atmosphere of public hysteria, which not only makes fair trial impossible, but also maligns reputations of the accused, causing irreversible damage. This may cause people to question its validity or that of the movement itself. These platforms are largely unmediated and unsupervised, being used to further shame and badger victims and perpetuate discrimination and violence. Sensitive information may be misused, violating survivor agency and promoting victim-blaming, pressuring them to prove their claims by naming and shaming. Also, here is a risk of serving social justice just by depending on any post of social media as it takes time to understand the other side of the coin. Hence, while there are many who got served with justice, there also are people who are screwed by actions taken by law bodies only by going with the social media post. Its not only the responsibility of the legal bodies but also of the citizens who aren’t aware of the other side of the story. While the constitution has given right to express, it doesn’t include any kind of right to pass the judgements, therefore is completely illegal.
On the other hand, social media let the people reach higher authority and solves the issue faster making social media platform efficient in such case. Like we daily see people who are seeking medical, financial or educational support are being helped by Sonu Sood just by the medium of a tweet. Moreover, now the little girl who complained to ‘Modi Saab’ about her excessive homework, also got her problem solved as internet has done it against as J&K Lt. Governor has recognized the complaint & directed school education department to lighten the burden of homework on children in next 48 hours. Likewise there are multiple cases which gets solve by the power of social media.
Hence, to use online platforms to get the solution it’s our responsibility to practice tolerance, be fair and respect one’s privacy in addition to ensuring the legitimacy of sources. It’s the duty of every citizen to understand the story of both side and not proceed to support or act against anyone until there are verified facts in our hands.