Venkatesh K
Hunt them down..
This article originally appeared in CRI content has now been subsumed in The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of

I say we hunt them down and alert their workplaces to their delightful twitter persnarltees 😉

This “gem” of a tweet was part of a conversation between two media personalities. Naturally, an influential section of Indian twitterverse went up in indignation. However the discussion threads veered around to anonymity and its implications on social media. This was actually a tangential discussion that missed the real implications of the mindset that inspires such vicious thinking.

There are some implicit assumptions that are being made in this tweet by this Media ‘personality’

  1. The political views that you hold have relevance to your employers.
  2. If the employers were to get to know of such views, it will impact your employment relationship.
  3. Your political views and public stances can be altered by exerting pressure on your sources of livelihood.

Barring exceptions, the first 2 assumptions don’t hold water for most of us. Most of us do not work for media, think-tanks or political parties. Our employers have hired us for “real” skills and don’t give a damn about what we do outside work. However, the 3rd assumption is of significant relevance. How many of us can hold onto our “public” stances when our livelihood is threatened significantly? Many of us might choose to compromise or withdraw from expressing our opinions altogether when faced with such a situation. Can this kind of situation really happen in your life? Think again. If it can happen to Dr. Subramanian Swamy at Harvard, it can definitely happen to many of us too.

In my humble opinion, this just reinforces the wisdom of those social media activists and bloggers who choose to remain anonymous. For a long time, it was difficult to believe that the government would do anything to restrict access to Social media. But sure as hell, it happened. In fact, the idea was conceived in the media circles before our very eyes. Will the intelligence-apparatus under the government control start issuing security-advisories to IT companies employing trouble-some social media activists? The idea has surely been conceived. We can only hope that the incompetence of the nincompoops in the thought police will make them fail again.

In an interesting insight, there are corollaries of the 3 assumptions mentioned above that we can infer about the mainstream media too

  1. The political views of a journalist are dictated by his employers (or people funding his employers).
  2. Any independent or contrary views that such a journalist might hold will impact his employment adversely.
  3. These journalists views can easily be altered by threatening or offering sources of livelihood (and perhaps a little more).

In essence, this is what we call PAID- MEDIA in twitter slang.