Internet and social media have empowered today’s youth. Today’s digitally equipped youth is breaking the regular norms and is rapidly building a world of its own. Youth Ki Awaaz (YKA) or the Voice of Youth is one such crowdsourced platform where today’s youth express their thoughts about the present burning issues. Whether it is the deteriorating condition of our society, the never ending corruption, the platform speaks on all of them. The award-winning platform was conceived by Anshul Tewari – a social entrepreneur, blogger and an expert in youth affairs.
Anshul was happy to share his thoughts on different aspects of YKA, challenges associated with a crowdsourced platform and social media, when I invited him over for our video interview series – Conversations.
The video conversation shared below focuses on areas like:
How YKA came into existence
We began the conversation with going into the past and finding out what led to the creation of a platform like Youth Ki Awaaz. During his college days, Anshul felt that the youth had no platform where they could speak up. Facing the challenge himself, he became aware that this could be a problem faced by most of the youth like him in the country. Thus the idea of YKA came into existence, where it not only gave a chance to speak up but also advocate issues and take up action with the help of social media.
Why a Crowdsourcing model like YKA and challenges with this model
YKA is a crowdsourced platform for a larger audience where everyone gets a right to speak up. So Anshul created an alternate media which has a two-way engagement and is run by the community.
Speaking on challenges, Anshul informed me that YKA is a platform of opinions so the team has a motto not to suppress opinions but they do look at the language. In addition to this, the team at YKA works with the writers on a one-to-one basis to make them write better and create quality content.
How social media has helped Youth Ki Awaaz
Anshul thinks that starting from an early stage has given them an edge when compared to others. However, he thinks that number of likes and followers doesn’t help much, one needs to create interesting content that motivates readers to share and talk about it.
Freedom of expression vs hates speech
Regulating social media has been a hot topic of discussion, so getting the viewpoints of Anshul who represents today’s youth was essential. Anshul agrees that there is a very thin line of difference between freedom of speech and hate speech. However, he thinks that social media is built on a community model so it should be left to the society to decide what is good and bad, rather than it being decided by a computer.
Advice to today’s youth
Anshul feels that today’s generation is like any other generation, but with an added advantage that no other generation had – that is the easy accessibility to Internet and social media. These tools should be used to a maximum to channelize the thoughts that today’s youth has and at YKA we are trying to do the same, adds Anshul.
I had a few takeaways while conversing with Anshul Tewari, hope you would also have some from the conversation. Do let us know your thoughts.