The member of parliament for St. Michael West Neil Rowe was this week charged with rape, it has been widely carried in the social and traditional media. The fact that statement details given to the Barbados Police Service (BPS) by the victim was leaked is also of interest. It is the second time in recent weeks the BPS has been accused of a breach in confidentiality. The blogmaster agrees with those who opine the BPS will find it challenging to carry out its job in the circumstances and must hastily address the matter.
Barbados Underground (BU) is a part of social media and has attracted its share of criticism since inception in 2007. The reason BU was conceptualized was in large measure due to a passive traditional media perceived to be in bed with the establishment. The traditional newsfeed was effectively moderated and sanitized. Along came the two headed social media monster- with the good and bad that it brings- and as they say the rest is history.
The power of social media because of its convergence with ubiquitous technology has changed how information is consumed by the public. The use of social media is now seen as an outlet by citizens to share without vetting from gatekeepers of traditional newsfeeds and by extension those lurking in the shadows. Like any man made constructs, there will be misused by some. In fact, many of the so-called establishment dwellers inject information (misinformation) into the social media space to feed narrow interest. Fact!
To the crux of the matter. Unlike others who were present when the alleged incident occurred and have given themselves license to take sides in the matter, it would be constructive to have such persons and other so-called commentators address why leaks to social media occur. The Cahill leak to BU for example is thought to have helped to stoke public pressure on the government at the time and resulted in the project being scraped. There is a perception by some members of the public the social media space is unrestricted and therefore is better positioned to challenge the ‘establishment’.
The question the blogmaster would like to have answered in the noise of the moment is why was the information leaked?
The blogmaster takes the opportunity to ask why has no head at the ministry of education and elsewhere – rolled yet as a result of the IDB mess up. Another case of short memories?