Case Study 6 (UPSC 2023/250 Words)

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You hold a responsible position in a ministry in the government. One day in the morning you received a call from the school of your 11-year-old son that you are required to come and meet the Principal. You proceed to the school and find your son in the Principal’s office. The Principal informs you that your son had been found wandering aimlessly in the grounds during the time classes were in progress.

The class teacher further informs you that your son has lately become a loner and did not respond to questions in the class, he had also been unable to perform well in the football trials held recently. You bring your son back from the school and in the evening, you along with your wife try to find out the reasons for your son’s changed behaviour. After repeated cajoling, your son shares that some children had been making fun of him in the class as well as in the WhatsApp group of the students by calling him stunted, duh and a frog. He tells you the names of a few children who are the main culprits but pleads with you to let the matter rest. After a few days, during a sporting event, where you and your wife have gone to watch your son play, one of your colleague’s son shows you a video in which students have caricatured your son.

Further, he also points out to the perpetrators who were sitting in the stands. You purposefully walk past them with your son and go home. Next day, you find on social media, a video denigrating you, your son and even your wife, stating that you engaged in physical bullying of children on the sports field. The video became viral on social media. Your friends and colleagues began calling you to find out the details. One of your juniors advised you to make a counter video giving the background and explaining that nothing had happened on the field. You, in turn posted a video which you have captured during the sporting event, identifying the likely perpetrators who were responsible for your son’s predicament. You have also narrated what has actually happened in the field and made attempts to bring out the adverse effects of the misuse of social media.

(a)Based on the above case study, discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of social media.

(b)Discuss the pros and cons of using social media by you to put across the facts to counter the fake propaganda against your family.

(a) Ethical Issues in the Use of Social Media:

  1. Cyberbullying and Harassment: The impact of social media on the mental well-being of individuals, especially children.
  2. Misinformation and Propaganda: The rapid spread of false information and its consequences.
  3. Privacy Violations: Posting videos without consent infringes on privacy.
  4. Responsibility of Social Media Users: The ethical responsibility of users in sharing content.

(b) Pros and Cons of Using Social Media to Counter Propaganda: Pros:

  1. Correcting Misinformation: Provides an opportunity to present the truth and counter false narratives.
  2. Raising Awareness: Highlights the issue of cyberbullying and misuse of social media.
  3. Support Network: Garnering support and understanding from a wider audience.


  1. Escalation of Conflict: Risks further incitement and spread of the issue.
  2. Privacy Concerns: Sharing videos could violate the privacy of individuals involved.
  3. Public Perception: Risk of being perceived as using position to influence public opinion.

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