Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is a name that has figured heavily on the minds of people across the globe. Hashtags related to Abhinandan Varthaman had a record 104 thousand tweets, and also had the highest searches on YouTube with citizens of both countries longing to know more about Abhinandan.
Also, Thanks to the ongoing smartphone and affordable data revolution, videos, images and the complete details about Wing Commander Abhinadan was out and circulated much before the official word from India or Pakistan came in.
Even today, with the release expected in a short while now, hashtags like welcomehome Abhinandan and Abhinandancomingback are trending high with eager countrymen waiting and praying for Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s release.
Nevertheless, what was condemned by millions was the fact that nearly 5 videos of Abhinandan Varthaman being captured and then rescued were all circulated widely on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Not only is this a violation of norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention, but the videos may have also caused unnecessary trauma to the family of Abhinandan Varthaman.
Furthermore, according to a report on the Economic Times, security officials asked netizens to refrain from sharing videos of Abhinandan on social media as it could have been done as part of a psychological operation against India. IT Ministry has also asked Google owned YouTube to remove the said videos.
Although the number of videos may have reduced on social media, they are still not completely inaccessible with various individuals constantly uploading the said videos on to social media platforms.
While social media may have played a constructive role in this ordeal by letting the family of the Pilot and the rest of the country know that he was safe and sound in a short while, a trend that would have been impossible if there was no smartphone revolution in the country, it may have also played a detrimental part.
Nonetheless, netizens now seem to be aware of the sensitivity of the issue with several people requesting other to stop circulating videos of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, even though a certain damage could have already be done due to the incessant sharing and liking of the images and videos.
What are your views on the role of social media in this ordeal? Was it a boon or a bane? Do let us know in the comments section.