In episode 22 of Lit’EdTech Fiesta, Daastan invites Ms. Yumna Hasany to lead the discussion regarding digital world and its ethics. On a generalized level, all online media disseminates information. Thus while the mode may differ, they essentially serve the same purpose. Regulating this flow, ensuring credibility and safety of all stakeholders involved are some points raised in the discussion.
Ms. Yumna Hasany has over 9 years in the development sector, she is a trainer in communication and leadership. In addition, she is affiliated with Radio Pakistan.
For Ms. Yumna, it had proven to be extremely beneficial to integrate herself in the online world by becoming part of the radio world. It allowed her to meet new people, have the ability to share their stories, while also cutting down barriers of networking through the access she now had. She presents anecdotes of her learning curve in the radio world, as she worked towards
“turning the monologue into a dialogue”
and overcoming doubts regarding their engagement. She also talked about the importance of remembering who lies at the receiving end, because “you’re also there for the listeners”.
Ethics of Navigating the Digital World
It is these experiences and considerations that allow her to delve into a discussion regarding handling of information, ethics and security. She highlights how the internet is an open space, and so “everyone has space to share their opinions, and to share their voices”. This is why it becomes important to disseminate credible news, grounded in authentic sources.
Further, the delivery of the information must also be considered. For instance, she talks about sensationalisation of news by the Pakistani media. The need for empathy media training is quite urgent in the status quo.
At the end of the receiver, they must also develop critical thinking skills while intaking the content delivered. They should “have critical knowledge and skills to figure out on your own what is fake news”. Moreover, due to the openness of the online world,
there needs to be an exercise in patience and tolerance in regards to differing perspectives.
Choices in the Digital World: Why are we here?
There is a debate regarding what exactly the audience wants. Is it credible information they require, or mindless entertainment? If it is the latter, the consideration of ethics goes out of the window. However a balance can be struck, whereby even if the audience “want the fluff”, they are still able to critically engage with the content.
It is also important to remember why we joined social media in the first place. Constantly questioning it, and ensuring that it is still relevant would contribute to a healthy usage. For it is
“great that you have that freedom, but even that freedom needs to be governed by ethics”.
This freedom can also result in breach of privacy and security of users- hence must be regulated in some manner.
This particularly applies to pictures that one chooses to post. However, in the case that there is a breach, Ms. Yumna talks of the importance of being aware of harassment laws in Pakistan in regards to cyber bullying. As this may equip one to hold the transgressors accountable.