[smc-discuss] Fwd: WhatsApp and mental torture in school communities

Nandakumar Edamana nandakumar at nandakumar.co.in
Sat Jun 6 05:20:29 PDT 2020

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	WhatsApp and mental torture in school communities
Date: 	Sat, 6 Jun 2020 17:07:04 +0530
From: 	Nandakumar Edamana <nandakumar at nandakumar.co.in>
To: 	min.edu at kerala.gov.in


I'm, Nandakumar Edamana, who was active in IT at School activities (AnTS
project especially) during late 2000s and early 2010s. I'm happy to
learn that e-learning activities in schools are into a new level. At the
same time, I'm sad to learn that the whole move to free software is
being hijacked by the overuse and mandating of WhatsApp in school
communities. To me, the issue is personal too, since my mother is a
Teacher in an aided school.

WhatsApp is proprietary, and it's owner, Facebook, has an extremely bad
reputation for collecting and misusing the private information of users.
Government promoting it's use is a total going-back from where we'd
reached, and one of the worst things it can do to school students. Of
course, many don't care, but that's not a reason to force others to use
it. There is no reason to mandate the use of WhatsApp when we have libre
and privacy-respecting alternatives like Signal (signal.org). At least
there should be options.

And there are some people who don't like to use high-end technology at
all, the ones like my mother. I've personally witnessed she being
mentally tortured to buy a smart phone and install WhatsApp, which,
she'd managed to resist. She does her duties well, but being an agent
for Facebook is not one of them. Please note that she isn't against
technology or ICT or e-learning. She simply doesn't want to be forced to
use the technology she doesn't like.

Tracking activities undertaken by Facebook and Google has gone wild and
deep recently. I'm sure 99% of people don't know their enemies aren't
cyber criminals, but some of the giant service providers. I think KITE
can and should provide/promote better alternatives. I hope such a libre
world would emerge.

Thank you.

Nandakumar Edamana

GPG Key: https://nandakumar.org/contact/gpgkey.asc
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