Holding such an informative show just 20 days to the general elections was a brilliant idea. With well informed guests, Daniel Maithya ( Social Media Specialist ) and Njeri Wangari ( blogger), the topic on how to promote peace on social media was beautifully and broadly discussed.
The intelligent family radio 316 presenter, James Okumu was the driver. I was the audience(one among many) and this is what I gathered.
It is sad how social media has turned to be a tool of spreading fake news. A survey conducted by Geopoll and Portland clearly revealed that WhatsApp and Facebook are the main platforms linked to fake news on Kenya polls. 90 percent of those interviwed said that they find fake or inaccurate news on either Facebook or WatsApp.
Where is the understanding of skillful communication? Many people today want to be the first to spread news on social media. Unfortunately, most of us have completely forgotten that the main purpose of social media platforms is to feed the audience with facts and not opinions.
Once you feed people with opinions instead of facts, be aware that the opinions will become facts and this will purely take away the natural thinking process of man’s mind.
As we work towards promoting peace on social media, let’s all understand that a country is a constitution of it’s people, it’s culture and it’s diversity. It is the role of social media to promote all three and present it as being superior and attractive. Be positive in your thinking and always post messages that are productive in promoting peace.
Just to highlight the important lessons from the discussion: The social media should take responsibility in promoting peace initiatives, support individuals and groups who are involved in the peace process, highlight the good as journalists, suppress and correct the bad.It should also encourage dialogue among people from different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities. This can positively change the perception on ethnicity, modify attitudes promote tolerance and mutual understanding.
Bloggers are urged to turn into peacemakers. The government too has a great role of controlling whatever is being published and fed to the people. By so doing, I believe that our goal of promoting peace will be achieved.
In this era of fake news spreading fast on social media, the users are requested to post responsibly. This is not the time to stir up conflicts among tribes, nations and so on but aim at preventing them. Engaging the ordinary citizens and making them aware of the power of social media is a crucial step in transforming communities and curbing violence. These are the change makers at grassroots level, they are the key to effective actions.
Just think of how productive it can be if we all take opportunity of what you we do and preach peace.. A driver using his car as an opportunity to spread peace, a radio presenter using the airwaves for the same purpose, the poet producing peaceful messages in his/her pieces, songwriters the same and all of us. Let’s do this together because unity is strength.