Controversial status, observation and some truths

This blog is dedicated to my observation on use of controversial hashtags and how user respond on those hashtags.

I posted a very controversial and yet sensitive status on Facebook regarding the most popular hashtags seen on social media these days #blacklivesmatter versus #everylifematters . I was quite curious on how users on social media perceive hashtags and how they response to tags used in controversies. And, therefore, deliberately used certain hashtags and words to see how people will respond to the hashtags that I used. As, a tech based researcher this was my public experiment to see some of the hypothesis that I had regarding in my mind. If someone had a question on why I posted that status on social media; it's because tech platform is my LAB where I explore my certain intuitions by myself. Here I share you publicly what I observed in my small experiment on digital citizenship:-

a) When it comes to controversial post related to public; engagement seems to be high. My post never had so many thought provoking long comments until this post. And, interestingly many of those who commented on my post never liked my status previously too. But, they did when I made a controversial post.

b) People assume and judge too fast you as person only because of the status you posted on social media. Taking my status as reference to my status; people assumed that I knew nothing about #blacklivesmatter case and therefore started educating me publicly by sharing downloaded image contents, videos links, news portal links. They didn't knew that I was closely aware of how Rosa Park case (mother of civil right movement) triggered Montgomery Bus Boycott movement in US. Taking my status as a reference; people showed anger on my case.

c) Some of friends were liking almost every comments but they never gave personal opinion on my post. May be they didn't knew about what I was talking more or may be they were trying to learn like I was trying to. People also take time to think and respond to certain especially when it's controversial post. But, actively follow to know how others are responding even they don't participate.

d) Social media is making us more and more angry. My post was a question, "instead of saying #blacklifematter #dalitlifematter #xyzlifematter etc.etc.; why we aren't building a common narrative to say #everylifematter in this world?" Instead of trying to know why I was having this question and why I was trying to know that; almost all comment were in the form of their personal statement. The statement has anger, hatred and frustration towards the case and eventually maybe they found a space to vent out their frustration from the case.

e) I was quite fascinated by how people were responding to #blacklifematter (US case) case not responding less to #dalitlifematter (Nepal case). It gave me the conclusion that even for case of powerful country gets more attention in the media than of less powerful countries and in that media plays a big role. Hashtags and media contents like news, video, image etc of #blacklifematter was more than the #dalitlifematter in digital world. Digital content from media do influence on people voice.

f) Nobody tried to understand what for me was, "#everylifematters. I knew this was very subjective hashtags used in the controversial cause of #blacklifematter. Recently I came to knew whales are surprising weapon to fight against climate change issues because of their more CO2 observation capacity than tress but their lives are on the verge of extinct. Likewise, image the impact of life of tree is making in human kind. We know without these lives of natural things. When I mean #everylivesmatter; I was thinking of all living things. But, many assumed that I was trying to compare the life of human only. It meant that we as humans are less empathetic towards the lives of animals and plants.

g) Media and tech companies like Facebook survive because world is full of controversies. Controversies exists all over the world so does user engagement. User follow negative news more therefore controversies spread more than good news because our brains are negatively biased.

P.S. this is my observation based on the comments that my friends gave to me. Those who personally attacked me on comment; please don't judge me personally on the status that I posted. No deaths are valid and justifiable for any reasons. And, like you all I do care for more just society.


Shiv Kandel

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