This newsletter is published at techpolicy.substack.com
What is this?This newsletter aims to track information disorder largely from an Indian perspective. It will also look at some global campaigns and research
What this is not?A fact-check newsletter. There are organisations like Altnews, Boomlive etc who already do some great work. It may feature some of their fact-checks periodically
Of DisAgrimants, Pusback, De-platforming trains and WhoOp(ed)sy daisies
Welcome to Edition #10 of MisDisMal-Information.
Dis-Agrima-nts and Pushback
You know where I am going with this. Just in case, you don’t – here is a quick recap. A long long time ago, standup comic Agrima Joshua made a few jokes about the rumoured super powers of a statue and uploaded that video to YouTube. Since then, there were laughs (at the jokes) and crickets (no, not for the jokes, but to represent the time that passed in between) until sometime last week when someone somewhere discovered their outrage bones and …well… outraged about it.
Ok Prateek, but isn’t this like Tuesday for women and other gendered minorities on Social Media? Yes, unfortunately, it is. But just because it is normalised doesn’t mean we don’t try to understand what happened.
Among all the abuse, there was also one particularly worrying piece of content – a video where the creator essentially threatened her with sexual violence, among a host of other abuses.
Let’s consider how this played out in different strands of the information ecosystem (sides and colours used for representation are purely coincidental, almost).
(Note: that representation of the different strands as singular entities, does not mean to imply that all activities are coordinated – the purpose of the abstraction is to make the diagram clearer. And that the boxes appearing on either side are not necessarily all that different even though we judge them differently.
Also, it is not bad handwriting, I prefer to think of it as weak encryption)
The green rectangular blob represents the threat I mentioned above. Understandably, many people were outraged. The video was amplified along with calls to restrict his online presence as well as real-world consequences for this act.