Freedom of expression: The changing dimensions!
  Mallika Sherawat said her behind is “1 of a kind” on Twitter and got away with it. With absolutely no obscenity charges! (Let’s forget for a while about the charges she had to face for having worn that barely-there fishnet outfit during the Dasavatharam event in Chennai). Kushboo said ‘premarital sex is okay as long as both the parties involved in it are conscientious. And the result: she was slapped with 22 criminal cases for having been sacrilegious against the sacred institute of marriage.

Kushboo is finally freed by the Supreme Court against all her pending cases after four years of incessant fighting, court hearings and tongue lashing by the self-proclaimed moral police brigade. But I begin to wonder, would the same comment have made the same impact if it was made on a social networking site like Twitter where everyone slings mud on everybody and wash their dirty linen in public?

It might not have. For one, the internet has made everything possible from freedom of expression to toppling the ministerial posts over at just the click of a mouse (or the ‘tweet’ button perhaps). As harmless as the entire idea might
sound, those ‘140 word updates’ are capable of really creepy things – like blowing the whistle on personalities, for instance.

From a place for over-enthused celebrities who want to show off how enviable their life style is, Twitter has come a long way in providing regular updates for the celeb-hungry in the cyberspace. There is no need to wait for the movie magazines or websites or even bloggers to dish up those juiciest gossips about celebrities. All you need to do is to follow the endless list of stars according to your preference and the stars do it themselves.

You probably wouldn’t find instant info anywhere else about Priyanka and Genelia’s location updates, Shahrukh’s four dogs, Gul Panag’s craze for bikes, Sonam’s instant film reviews, Farhan’s film promotional updates or the self-styled diva Mallika’s high profile dinner dates with Hollywood celebs. And it also provides infinite source of news for the media, in general. Tweets have become an integral part of voicing and seeking opinions. While some celebrities use it as a way to express their solidarity over pressing issues (Gul ranks first in this), others are mostly trivial updates – ranging from mundane weather updates to RTs (re-tweets).

The internet, as a medium of communication, has shifted into overdrive mode providing innumerable choices for the news-hungry ‘us’. Emails were outdone by social networking sites and blogs, which are being fast outdone by the shortest form of social networking called ‘Twitter’.

What started as a social networking phenomenon, Twitter has snowballed into something humungous - the growth of which is beyond anybody’s prediction. The overwhelming need to be in the scheme of things is addictive and Twitter cashes in on exactly that.

Of all the other things, Twitter might pronounce a death sentence to the film media, silently. The need of a third party in delivering film news will fast become history, especially when you can get all those news updates and much more tidings from the celebrities themselves.

I wonder whether Kushboo would like to join the Twitter brigade too!

Be that as it may. Don’t forget to hail the internet. We now have unrestricted freedom of expression - something that we found was often lacking, the hard way, even in the democratic set up.

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