Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ethics of using hashtag in social networks

Salam Sunday everyone,

On Saturday, the nation was shocked with the horrifying news that one of our airplane went missing from the radar. I am pretty sure, that  most of you are aware of this situation.

We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning bound for Beijing. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30am local Beijing time. Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40am (local Malaysia time) today.

This is an excerpt taken from the website of Malaysia Airline regarding the situation.

In times of emergency situation like this we can see how Malaysians united in terms of giving moral and material supports. No doubt, despite of the recent chaos of political issues, water issues and the hazardous air pollution  Malaysian still manage to come to their sense and help each other despite their backgrounds.
If you scrolled through any of the main social media,  facebook , twitter and instagram you may see hundreds of posts dedicated to the victims and their family. Prayers of all sorts whether in images , quotes and even excerpts from the Quran and Holy Bible are dedicated specially for MH 370.

As an avid social network user, I am aware of the usage of hashtag. The usage if hashtag is initially used to indicate a specific content and categorize the topics in a certain manner.

Last night, as I was watching the news and scrolling through my instagram for any recent news of the situation I noticed something is wrong. Scrolling through the hashtag of #MH370, I see many supportive quotes and images for the airplane however there are certain photos that are posted with the hashtag #MH370 that does not have any connection by all means to the current situation.

I’ve seen people posting their selfies, pictures of people hanging out with their friends and even people attending weddings and going grocery shopping all with the hashtag of #MH370.
Imagine yourself as one of the family members and friends of the victims, scrolling through the timeline for some motivation and just for the sake of appreciating prayers from the nation, when you suddenly came across a picture of a group of friends with beaming smile at the mamak while you yourself couldn’t even bring a small smile on your face.

 Is that appropriate?

In my opinion, its not.

Specify the usage of hashtags, not just for the sake of ‘ ohh because this hashtag is currently trending on twitter ‘. If you want to post a selfie of yourself or a picture of you and your friends at the mamak, find an appropriate hashtag for that.

Respect the feelings of the people involved, mothers waiting anxiously for the return of her one and only son, wives sobbing to tears of the news that maybe her husband is hurt somewhere in the ocean and children of the passengers waiting clueless at the airport with no news of their parents.

Its currently has been almost more than 24 hours since the airplane went missing from the radar and yet,  there are still no official news of the situation from the authorities. Pestered by the media and the nation, I am sure that the people involved could use some motivation and prayers from you instead of a selfie of you in your room with cute pout and a hashtag of #MH370.  

Meanwhile, for now we could only wait for official announcement from the authorities. A gently reminder, don’t believe any news that you may have heard from someone and someone.

Example “ my aunt’s friend said….., my boyfriend’s friend’s uncle said …. , “ . My advise, I suggest that these people apply to be a journalist because you are so great at bringing news to people right ? * insert sarcasm smile here*

Malaysians, keep praying for #MH370. I hope there’s some kind of miracle that may happen and that they will safely return to their respective families. InsyaAllah.

And remember, use appropriate hashtag for whatever that you want to post on your social network account. Be considerate. Be thoughtful.




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