Social Media and Democracy Essay
Social media is a method of communication that uses the Internet or mobile phones to interact with people. It has reformed the mode of broadcasting messages to people all over the world. This social communication mode has been used by many countries and has enabled citizens to communicate and exercise their democratic rights. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks help people to keep in touch on democratic issues.
This paper focuses on the role of social media and democracy in the world. According to Kubicek and Westholm (212), social democracy keeps citizens up to date with information, as they are enlightened on what is happening, in either their country or the whole world through communication and comments on Facebook, Twitter and other communication networks as they express their opinions.
The Internet as a mode of social media has helped countries like Iran whose electronic and publishing are controlled by the state. Citizens have used the Internet to pass and share information. For example, in 2009, during the Iran elections, citizens were able to comment on Facebooks and Youtube, and the whole world was able to follow the election proceedings.
Since Iran is like a locked society, the Internet has benefited its citizens and other closed countries whose freedom of the press is limited. There are groups that support such countries’ Media coverage internationally and emphasizes the freedom of the press. The objective of such groups is to support the countries, which have been affected by politics, conflicts, and insecurities because it is non-profit associations.
Social media may have a positive or negative impact. Despite being informative, it can pass negative messages that can cause wars and conflicts in many countries. Comment on Facebook can be passed on to many people and influence their actions. For example, in African countries like Egypt where people were not contented with the way the government was operating.
The messages were passed on through Twitter and Facebook and media clips on YouTube; these messages turned into protests and riots, which later turned to wars that claimed many people’s lives. This is an indication of how the Internet is as powerful as social media. Thus, the government and citizens should be careful about writing messages and posting comments.
Likewise, the US President Barrack Obama’s visit to Facebook, which is on Calif headquarters, was to have a conversation with Facebook Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, and the Facebook users. Facebook’s live event was to have famous people participate in it.
The president communicated and connected with people in America and had a chat about issues on improving the economy and advancements that will increase America’s competitive advantage. Andrew Noyes, who is a Facebook spokesperson, recognized that people Facebook in politics to communicate with their friends and to reach them within the shortest time possible (Fowler 1).
Also, Americans have used the social sites to communicate to their political allies, and the government and local authorities have used such sites to collect opinions of every citizen. President Obama has used these social sites to communicate and to gain more support, for example, in his campaign on health care improvement.
Google moderator has been used to vote on topics and issues in question, and this enables analysts to predict the outcome of the upcoming events (Owen 32). With President Obama’s use of social sites to interact with people, it is an indication that the white house has embraced these technological improvements.
The US has its website attached to state agencies, and it is accessible to citizens and non-citizens. It is easy to read the governments information. Electronic democracy reduces costs of communications, and it is easy to get votes from the youth who lead with a high percent of Internet use and think that traditional voting is time-consuming and inconvenient. In essence, the Internet has improved communication technologies like E-voting and E-democracy.
Fowler, G. “Obama To Visit Facebook on April 20.” The Wall Street Journal. 2011. Web.
Kubicek, H. and Westholm, H. Scenarios for future use of E-democracy tools in Europe. Hershey: Cybernetic Publishing, 2007. Print.
Owen, D. The Internet and Youth Civic engagement in the United States. The Internet and Politics: Citizens, voters and activists. London: Routledge, 2008. Print.
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