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Social Media and Political Discource - Research Paper Example

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This paper analyzes the roles played by Social Media. Recent events such as the five day long riots in London, England and dangerous flash mobs in U.S. cities like Philadelphia highlight a downside of social media…
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Social Media and Political Discource
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Download file to see previous pages hroughout the world considering that through it many voters can find an avenue through which to express themselves, or to reach out to their political leaders. Furthermore, social media are also ideal platforms which can be used by politicians to disseminate information to the general public. More importantly, social media has transformed politics in that it provides a convenient platform for political discourse among different individuals. According to Kushin (2), these social media platforms are used by “politically active individuals of all ages and ideologies to get news, connect with others, and offer their thoughts on the issues that are important to them”. Many players in the political arena have claimed with the benefit of hindsight that “(social media) would bring democracy to autocratic states the world over” (Baumann 1). Politicians using Social Media The use of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter has become very popular among politicians and revolutionaries according to Bauman (52). Most of the politicians in the United States, as a matter of fact, use one or more of these social media tools to initiate political discourse. For example, in 2008, President Obama launched MyBarackObama.com, a personal social network to help him stay active and politically successful on the local political front (Howard 11). His political counterpart Howard Dean had launched his meetup.com before him. McCain also launched his McCainSpace for similar purposes (Kushin 3). According to Smith (1), “social media has become a regular part of the political environment for voters in the 2010 midyear elections”. In fact, politicians who use social media and especially social networking tools in the Western World are seen to be more in touch with the...
This paper approves that online political discourse, especially on the social media scene has been criticized for allegedly isolating people who disagree with the specific topic being discussed. The discussions have also been criticized for sometimes being quite uncivil. In many instances, political discourse within a single social website is largely one sided. The disagreeing participants make up a very small percentage of those who are participating. This means that most discussions or political discourse topics on social media lack the fiery character of conventional discourses which pit opposing sides equally. It is normally quite hard to regulate what goes on in many of the political discussion forums in the social media. Sometimes the discussions can become quite heated and some participants normally loose their tempers.
This essay makes a conclusion that social media has changed the way political discourse is conducted. Technology has made it possible for people to dictate the terms of how politics is discussed. Social media as a platform for political discourse is beneficial to both the public and to politicians. People get to participate in any of the discussions that they think is relevant, sometimes using the sites to organize civic demonstrations, protests or even revolutions as witnessed in the case of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. They also get to make contributions to political debates among themselves and with their political leaders. On the other hand, politicians use social media to interact politically with the masses.
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