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Social Media: Moving Politics Towards the Future

The social media has made an enormous impact on our day-to-day lives. We now have access to information at a speed that seemed unimaginable to many at one point. We learn of current events minutes, if not seconds, after they occur. Throughout this constant flow of information, politics seem to get a good share of the publicity. After all is said and done, the question still remains of the effect of social media on politics. Is the effect ultimately a good one, or is it damaging?Social Media's Effect on Politics

While the constant buzz of information on current presidential candidates may seem dramatic, this is actually very beneficial to the voting population. Accessing information about candidates and their policies could not be easier, which encourages those ill-informed about the election to do a bit of research. As so eloquently put on ForeignAffairs.com, “As the communications landscape gets denser, more complex, and more participatory, the networked population is gaining greater access to information, more opportunities to engage in public speech, and an enhanced ability to undertake collective action.” Everyone has a greater chance of becoming an informed citizen. Democracy thrives on the voting process, and the social media often gives voters the push they need to gain knowledge about the candidates and make the vote that they think is best. In many ways, the new information highway has been a huge advantage for the voting population of America.Is Your Source Reliable?

Sometimes it may seem that our knowledge has been duplicated due to our social media connections, but in some cases we don’t learn anything. Depending on the credibility of your source, you may even be retaining illegitimate information. This incorrect treatment of the social media leads to a downward spiral creating a society filled with people acting on facts that aren’t correct to begin with. This, in fact, works against the voting process and can often lead to wrong decisions made for our country. While there is plenty of evidence of the correct usage of the social media towards politics, there is even more evidence of poor information being circulated.

Even though social media has often times led the political world astray, there are certainly ways to educate the public to use credible sources. Information that is poor or incorrect should be reported to the website domain immediately. If wrong information is circulated, people will be convinced that it is the truth. This would lead us nowhere on the path towards creating a world where social media is used to educate rather than simply entertain.

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  1. kiannash
    May 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    A very informative post, Julianne! I agree that social media is and will continue to play a major role in campaigns. The concerns that you address about illegitimate information is big risk that is inevitable; in fact, it is already occurring. I believe that the line between fact and opinion can be blurred, and if the government takes down a website, the website’s owner can claim freedom of speech and thus entering a very gray area. Maybe you can think of another alternate? Good job!

  2. sterlingjho
    May 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I’m not sure what I can add that Kianna already said. This post is great lengthwise, and contentwise it’s also superb. I’m honestly unsure what to mention besides what Kianna pointed out about illegitimate information already being spread. A rather great and detailed post otherwise!

  3. May 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Good, Julianne!

    I especially like your conclusion in paragraph two: effective use of social media means that “everyone has a greater chance of becoming an informed citizen.” Well said – I agree!

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