When Teachers are Attacked in Social Media
Social Media is a double edged sword. It can enrich the lively connect with each other creatively and also can disrupt the peace of mind. Recently, the latter is on the higher side. We have heard instances of people being attacked in social media in the form of threatening, warnings and trolls. Now t is spreading globally, especially against teachers.
Teachers, especially College teachers, become easy scapegoats to this social media bullying. Recently a professor from California became such a prey. Professor Albert Ponce, who teaches political science at Diablo Valley College, a community college in California's East Bay had such an experience. It all started in October when he was invited to give a public lecture on campus on an area he specializes in: race and politics.
In the speech, which was filmed, he called the United States "a white supremacist, patriarchal, heteronormative, capitalist system." He also mentioned Karl Marx in passing, praised civil disobedience and referred to a white supremacist in the White House. The result: attacks on Facebook and threatening voice messages and emails.
In Kerala, such an incident occurred when a lady teacher from Keralavarma College, Thrissur, wrote her personal opinion bout campus politics and was cyber attacked. Colleges are meant to be a home for free inquiry. But these days, not all professors feel that freedom. People on the right don't have a monopoly on threats to free speech or academic freedom.
"In a democracy, these places of higher learning should be the spaces where we engage in a rigorous scholarship, not necessarily an ideological one," Ponce says. College, he says, is the place for a quest for truth, not merely opinion.