Apr 17, 2012 at 10:40am IST

Hyderabad: Osmania University, a trendsetter! For good or bad?

HYDERABAD: A day after the beef festival turned violent on the Osmania University campus, the varsity as well as the festival became hot topics of discussion on the micro-blogging site Twitter on Monday.
Users from across the country aired opinions, debated and without hestitation threw muck at one another and importantly, against the university.
Noted Dalit activist Meena Kandasamy, who attended the festival, had live Twitter updates on the proceedings and there were a significant number of threatening and abusive tweets to counter this.
“The online action and reaction reflects the tech savvy times we live in,” observes Dr K Stevenson of the Department of Communications and Journalism, Osmania University.
“The present generation are digital natives and are at ease airing opinions online,” points out the professor but he does not find fault with online activism even though users seem to be crossing the line sometimes.
“If political parties and representatives can use social media for propagating their agenda, students  definitely have a right to voice their opinion through the social media,” he reasons.
Drawing parallels between Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign and the Arab spring, Dr Stevenson says that in this case, Twitter was used more as a discussion board than a tool to garner participation and support. “If the students identify with the issue, they are free to express their opinion. The previous experiences linking revolution or mass movements to social media is possibly the idea board that launched the #Beef Fest,” he opines.