Home » Effect Of Social Media On Democracy
Essay GS Paper II Social Issues

Effect Of Social Media On Democracy

Based on the following sugessions or ideas make your own Content under 250 word, and 2000 to 3000 words( for Essay)

The biggest disadvantage is that the media can manipulate the mindset of masses of people, who could then vote on that mindset whether it is correct or not. For instance, many think singer ” Ricky Nelson” died of a drug overdose because of false media reports. He died in an aeroplane crash. Many think President Bill Clinton faced impeachment because of his affair with Monica Lewinsky. But, instead, it was on perjury and obstruction charges. Additionally, the special prosecutor wasn’t investigating Clinton for his sexual escapades. He was investigating the Whitewater scandal, which eventually led to the Lewinsky affair. and well in the case country .. you know what to mention ( if you don’t know the incident falsely believed, search for it in google ), These kinds of false narratives continue to affect the public’s thinking. This is amplified today with polarized news and non-professional online news sites.

Information, disinformation, lies deception, scandals it works just fine. It ain’t pretty but it works. We get what we deserve!!

The media in the past had let FDR have a pass with polio. JFK was a reckless President and by the press hiding his health problems that caused tremendous drug use, he had Fiddle and Faddle, the 18 yr intern, and Sam Giacana’s mistress the press cast doubt on their profession. Watergate changed things, for the better and the worse. Now we get information from everywhere, everyone, and major scandals have a shelf-life of 48 hrs.

The cable channels have 24 hours to fill up and commercials to sell. The Situation Room is on everyday, just like Nightline started for the 444 days of the hostages in Iran but like the Situation Room it went on and on.

Donald Trump may be unfit to be America’s president, but he clearly is a master of social media. His often outrageous tweets have earned the real-estate magnate-turned-politician more than 7m followers on Twitter. And most messages are seen by millions more because they are forwarded thousands of times and get extensive coverage in mainstream media. Mr Trump’s campaign is thus proof of how important social media have become to politics and all kinds of collective action. How is this changing democracy?

Political scientists have long pointed out that social media make it easier for interests to organise: they give voice and power to people who have neither. For instance, they helped get Black Lives Matter, a movement fighting violence against African-Americans, off the ground, according toa recent study led by Deen Freelon of the American University in Washington, DC. But research into another effect has only just begun: social media are also making politics and collective action more “chaotic”, argues a new book called “Political Turbulence”.

Mobilisation often explodes, seemingly at random, according to the authors, most of whom work at the Oxford Internet Institute. Most online petitions, for instance, attract only a small number of supporters. Success does not depend on the subject matter—similar ones often fare quite differently—but the personality of potential participants. Extroverts, for instance, are more likely to act because they are sensitive to “social information”: seeing that others have already signed and knowing that their endorsement will be seen too. As a result, if a petition’s initial audience includes enough people with the right mindset, it can quickly take off (as do political Twitter hashtags, see chart). Politics in the age of social media are thus better understood by chaos theory than by conventional social science. Collective action online is a bit like the weather: small events can have a big impact. The book’s intriguing conclusion: social media are making democracies more “pluralistic”, but not in the conventional sense of the word, involving diverse but stable groups. Instead, the authors see the emergence of a “chaotic pluralism”, in which mobilisations spring from the bottom up.

One day, say the authors, it will be possible to predict, and perhaps even trigger such social-media surges, in the same way that meteorologists have become good at forecasting the weather. The big question is: who will be the political weathermen? Only two groups of actors are sure to have good access to social-media data and enough resources to develop software to sift through them: one is online giants, such as Facebook and Google, the other governments. So social media, like other forms of technology, will cut both ways in politics: they are making societies more democratic, but will also provide those in power with new tools of control.

This article is based on “Facebook is weakening democracy” which was published in The Hindustan Times on 12/06/2020. It talks about the impact of social media on democracy.

The introduction of the printing press in 15th century Europe revolutionised the social landscape, helping information spread further and faster than ever before. This had a deep link with the spread idea of democracy all over the world. In the present era, social media represents a similar paradigm shift. Today, social media plays a crucial role in facilitating and distributing content related to all the matters that have a larger influence on public opinion and subsequently on democracy. Although social media helps in the deepening of democracy, it also tends to weaken the concept of democracy and the emergence of anarchy, because of its unregulated nature and its role in the spread of fake news.

Social Media and Deepening of Democracy

Aiding C-Governance: Social media has led to the emergence of citizen-led governance (C–governance) in India. Social media platforms help to create awareness from one another to a million and be united for any social cause. In the process, the existence of social media can nudge citizens to seek solutions. Also for C-governance, people need to have information and be able to convey it to others. Social media platforms make that ton easier. Given this, social media is gradually being accepted as the fifth estate of democracy. Democratization of Expression: Social media has made Indian politics more inclusive by allowing citizens, who were traditionally excluded from politics due to geography and demography, to gain direct entry into the political process. It has also allowed for a diversity of viewpoints and public engagement on an unprecedented scale. Instrument for Bringing Behavioural Change: Use of social media for policy crowdsourcing and publicity is evident in the success of pan-India campaigns such as Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and the recently-launched Fit India Movement. Making political communication people-centric: Social media has been increasingly used by Indian political actors for routine political communication between elections to provide unmediated and direct communication to connect citizenry.

Also, social media has changed the power of political messaging and has moved away from the mass media model and places it firmly into peer-to-peer, public discourse.

Ill-effects of Social Media On Democracy

Widening Social Fault Lines: Social media has enabled a style of populist politics, which on the negative side allows hate speech and extreme speech to thrive in digital spaces that are unregulated, particularly in regional languages. Formation of Information Cocoons: Social Media, due to its technological capacity has enabled self-sorting and personalization of information one perceives. This leads to the phenomenon of group polarization — which takes hold when like-minded people talk to one another and end up thinking a more extreme version of what they thought before they started to talk. This is not in sync with the ethos of democracy which is based on debate, dissent and discussion.

Menace of Fake News: The rise of polarizing and divisive content has been a defining moment of modern politics, which is fed by fake news propagation through social media channels. Further, dissemination of fake news through social media, among populations with low-to-no levels of critical digital literacy is a big challenge. Cyberbullying or Trolling: Another dangerous element is the labelling and trolling of more rational voices or those who disagreed with the government’s actions or dominant public discourse as “anti-national.”

Social media awareness is needed which may enable citizens to be in a position to distinguish between truth and falsehood – and to know when democratic processes are being manipulated. Social Media Platforms can provide safeguards in the event that democratic processes are being intentionally disrupted or harmful falsehoods are spreading; it can help people find out what is true.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment