Platforms — — communications without limitation

A platform used to mean a raised flooring or other horizontal surfaces. Nowadays, it could be a particular place for people to share their opinions or even just simply their everyday life. Platforms are also the main way for most of us to find out what’s going on outside and these social platforms are no doubt the main source of such great amount of information flow today. People spend about 1 to 2 hours on them every day on average. Now, every two days we create as much information as we did up to 2003. In 2013, a girl called Jessica went missing after school around 4 pm and by 10 pm the post about her disappearance had been shared 7459 times. This number is not individuals who saw the post, but networks of individuals.

Efficiency is one of the most exciting features of social media platforms. Facebook, the most well-known one in the world which has 2.2 billion users i.e. one third of the whole population on the Earth use it and this never happened before. Hashtags are what we use to find and join a group to talk about a particular topic now but people also find them are critical in when it comes to ‘crisis communication’. In fact, the first time that we used the hashtag is to mark a tweet about bushfires in California. In other cases like earthquakes, floods etc. we can track the latest new about them by searching with some particular hashtags. However, we could not just count on online platforms completely. In the past, people used to rely on really limited sources of broadcasting such as radios, TVs, newspapers and so on. They may less than efficient but basically, most of the things they gave out are well-thought-out results i.e. they are better in credibility since it is the organisations or even the government who took the charge of them. Nowadays, there are users of platforms that are groups but most of them are individuals. They are not the official and since basically no one will be punished for misinforming the others, they do not feel like they should be responsible for the things they give out. Therefore we could be misled by the information on any platform. Fake images about crises could disturb the estimations of how serious they are. Rumours about someone is the suspect of a case can draw attention from the police wrongly.

These platforms may take the place of a many traditional medias one day but meanwhile we need to keep the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Also, maybe most of the information online is true but it could be one-sided, dialectical thinking is required now. With the help of platforms, there could be differences in places or even time when we start a communication and maybe that is why people become too arbitrary when they share their opinions. They do not care even realise that what they post online could lead in something unexpected. Laws must be made to prevent people from giving out such a great amount of irresponsible information.

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