Social Media Democratic Debate
The change in the voting structure due to voter education has changed the voting pattern over the years. Campaigning and manifesto scrutiny is one area that has been used as a guide in the election of the leaders within the system. The youth have been known to influence the democracy of the government as explained. An elaboration to posit the threats that social media faces in the UK among other countries is delineated. The paper explains the influence of social media towards the achievement of the democratic process in this nation. Most election campaigns in the present society depend on the use of social media. The most common types of social media tools that are being used in democratic debates include You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and P interest.
Most of the election centered discussions has been adopted by aspirants who market themselves through these platforms. The dynamics that occur within an election period dictates the progress made in by world leaders to achieve their positions of interest. Most countries have the freedom of expression through a media channel (Shirky, 36). Social media in this country had more than 66% active accounts of the entire population. According to the data, Youtube rated the highest (77%) with the highest number of accounts followed by Facebook that had 76% penetration. In the United States, social media network users are estimated to be 81% of the total population. This trend is powered by social media apps and mobile messengers that provide the ease of usage among the population.
In this country, Facebook is seen to be taking the lead by 78% followed by Youtube at 48% of the total population. The effects of the media can be felt on a global scale within a shorter period of time. Further, given that the avenues provide anonymity to the users, users are able to express themselves freely without fear or favor of any sort to anyone (42). Succinctly, social media are distributed technologies, in that dispersed users actively contribute content and coordinate among themselves through these sites. This marks a contrast from more centralized media like broadcast television, and suggests a potential empowerment of civil society in the face of state power. However, distributed technologies through which social media operates from do not preclude asymmetrical power relations.
Based on the statistics of the two countries, it can be stated that most of the people in the US prefer to use Facebook and Twitter as compared to the UK. A portion slightly lower than that of the UK prefers to use Facebook. However, statistics indicate that most people in the UK prefer using Instagram as a communication tool (Kouloumpis et al. Primary data And Analysis in the Use of Social Media in promoting democratic space In considering the way the social media has promoted democratic debate, primary data was collected through observation and interviews. The purpose of the primary data collection was to establish the extent of prominence of social media in the democratic debate. The observations were gathered by following the online accounts of senior politicians and top political correspondents and political analysts.
The results showed the number of political topics that instigated a political discussion in the social media. The potential weaknesses of the approach are that there was a risk of missing some online political talks when offline. The second approach to data collection was through interviews to the electorates. The interviews were conducted randomly with people from the community. ’ These were simple questions that were meant to save the responder’s time. The avenue for the data collection was at a local mall. The responses were further designed to avoid ethical issues in research. The questions were simple and less invasive to the character of the respondents. The questions intended to determine the respondent’s use of social media for political news, the respondent’s frequency in using social media and the respondent’s frequency in participating in online political debates.
The data proves that most political debates have been moved to the online media. Traditionally, the news media relied on television, radio, and newspapers to elicit responses from the public. The papers were quite slow since the answers would be received and published on different days. The other media could only initiate the discussions from the public through the phone and just at specific times. These avenues were inherently limiting. Only 18% of the respondents claimed that they used it rarely and average users were at 47%. 35% frequently used the social media proving that the use of social media was extensive and was part of these individual’s lives. The accessibility of social media platforms implies that more people have the chance to participate in the democratic debate.
They are not limited by infrastructure or cost, their only limitation individual choice. The data that credits the use of social media as a news source shows that 35% of the respondent considered it in the same dimension as traditional media. E-participation use of ICT broadens and deepens political participation by enabling citizens to connect with one another and with their elected representatives. The new technologies enable greater citizen participation in policy information and evaluation and to create greater information exchanges between citizens and government. In the United Kingdom, social media plays a significant role in the election processes. For instance, during the recent election on the Brexit, this tool was used as the main campaigning strategy in this country. The implication of this strategy had a great impact on the society, as it influenced the voting patterns and voting turnout over a short period of time.
However, globalization and radicalization have altered the shape of voting in most countries. Summatively, it can be asserted that the party that used social media in their politics emerged the victors. From this, an approval can be made that the UK referendum was influenced by the use of social media as it acted as the fastest campaign tool. The youth have proved to be the users of social media. Statistics indicate that the youth were used to mobilize and campaign through the use of social media. Before the election, there was a standard hash tag #Register to vote# on social media. The post attracted 29870 views and likes on Instagram from the youths who were showing solidarity for the labor party. Other common hash tags were #vote Labor# and #Make June the End of May# which amassed 83,094 and 20063 posts respectively.
All the posts were in solidarity with the Labour party. It is a clear indication of how the youth participated in the democratic process of the country (Boulianne, 526). The digital technology has resulted in political engagement and conversation through a large group of people. More people are being exposed to many political ideas in a broader scope as opposed to the past. It has resulted in people evaluating the type of candidate of their choice. Therefore, social media has led to much political analysis and improved the scope of the argument of most of the voters. Creation of awareness through the use of social media has resulted in conversancy and analysis of the candidates. (Correa, et al. The youth in the UK has proved to be the best users of campaigning.
Their flexibility has resulted in comfortable campaigning which has had an enormous impact on the politics of the UK. Therefore, it can be stated that the involvement of the aspirants and voters has made it easier to evaluate the leader of choice. Furthermore, it has proven to be the cheapest and readily accessed platform for expressing views and manifestos to the people. The members of parliament can discuss on their next motions and the structural plans to be tabled during the parliament sessions. Therefore, social media has been greatly used in the UK which has changed the nature of democracy in the U. S. Finally, social media has been used in the UK as a tool of communication. In order to promote democracy, the use of social media has been used for communication.
These acts show the impact that social media has on the society and how impunitive governments try to victimise the social media users that would wish to exercise their democratic rights on the platforms. There are specific regimes in the world that have been known to censor social media use to control the masses. This idea of social media censorship might seem alien to the U. K but it is a valid threat (Casilli and Tubaro, 18). There is a chance that future leadership might try to censor the social media through the imposing of strict regulations. These are avenues that governments are likely to use to limit the democratic debate on the online platform. The strict provisions that the government has on Facebook and Twitter regarding the content they hold are an indication of the future government invasion of the social media freedoms.
The government might use coercion to force these media platforms to conform to the rules of the conventional media. The other threat in the democratic debate is the continued presence of fake news on social media platforms. The social media sites do not edit or verify the information the users post on their platforms. These chatbots were identified as originating from Russia which wanted to influence the direction of the election (Ferrara et al. The U. K is also likely to experience such influences in its future elections. The chatbots mimic regular users and are overwhelming in numbers. In a platform that is driven by numbers, they quickly influence people’s opinions. The stakeholders of the social media including the government need to identify ways in which they will limit the degradation of social media as a democracy tool.
Therefore we can conclude that social media has served its role in ensuring that it fulfils its role of promoting the democratic debates as part of its mandate in promoting global governance Works Cited Boulianne, Shelley. "Social media use and participation: A meta-analysis of current research. " Information, Communication & Society 18. Canter, Lily. "The rise of social bots. " Communications of the ACM 59. Gibson, Rachel K. "Party change, social media and the rise of ‘citizen-initiated'campaigning. " Party politics 21. Hallin, Daniel C. , and Paolo Mancini. Comparing media systems: Three models of media and politics. Cambridge university press, 2004. Kouloumpis, Efthymios, Theresa Wilson, and Johanna D. Peters, Michael A. "Education in a post-truth world. " Tylor and Francis. Shirky, Clay. "The political power of social media: Technology, the public sphere, and political change.
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