“The emphasis today is on an unhindered, free media, which is essential in upholding democracy. This, in turn, must be met with concrete efforts on the part of new media to be responsible – become defined as one that struggles to inform, not incite,” stated Dr. Kalyani Suresh, Assistant Professor, Amrita School of Communication, Coimbatore.
Dr. Kalyani was participating in a panel discussion along with colleagues including Mr. G. C. Sekar, Associate Editor, The Telegraph; Mr. Kirubashankar, CEO, Business Blogging and Mr. R. Murugan, ex-Chief Manager, Andhra Bank.
The panel discussion titled Internet Information: Freedom vs. Hate Speech was part of a one-day workshop centered on the theme Cyber War: Has it Begun?
This workshop was conducted by the Cyber Society of India at the Department of Criminology, Madras University on October 5, 2012.
The Cyber Society of India is a nonprofit voluntary organization working to promote awareness on the use of computers. The Society regularly conducts workshops and seminars, focusing also on security, cyber crimes and risks involved in e-transactions.
Dr. Kalyani Suresh was invited to participate as a panelist. Over 75 delegates attended, including bankers, chartered accountants, retired judges, police personnel (involved with cyber cells), journalists, representatives from social media, companies and students of criminology.
In her talk, Dr. Kalyani explored whether censorship and surveillance could kill the new media, or whether newer technologies would defeat censorship and surveillance.
“Why do we have to talk about censorship and surveillance in relation to new media when we ourselves have made Internet an integral part of society, and do not look upon it as a separate entity?” she asked.
“The Internet permits unparalleled empowerment of the individual. It is probably this feature, together with the speed and the global character of the Internet that has made many governments worry about granting Internet users the same right to freedom of expression as traditional media have in democratic societies,” she further stated.
Later, Dr. Kalyani reflected on her participation in the workshop.
“It was indeed an honor to be invited to address such a knowledgeable audience. The interest in new media has grown and so have issues of abuse of the new media, leading to cyber crime. Tackling the issue of cyber crime that has no well defined borders or laws, is important.”
“My contribution is just a drop in the ocean of opinions from experts on the dynamics of tackling issues such as crime, sensationalism and hate speech in the cyber world, and I am honored to have played a role in contributing towards this very topical issue.”
October 31, 2012
School of Communication, Coimbatore