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Social Democracy & Media

October 18, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Thomas Nemel, Independent Technology Author

Social media has played a very important role ever since this phenomenon spread to more and more people and has become one of the most powerful tools to promote free speech and democracy. However, if in the past big events like the Arab Spring were helped to grow and flourish through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the tables turned ever since the US elections and a lot of voices say that it can become a tool for disinformation and manipulation.

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Social Media and Politics

The US elections and the use of social media to influence them no matter if it’s true fact or not, has really changed the way governments and official treat these very powerful means of communication. If fallen into the wrong hands, the social media outlets can lead to major disinformation or, in some cases, even help hiding the truth. Watch what happens in the dictatorial countries where everything is controlled and has to look in a certain way in order to be approved.

And while it may be a good idea to use social media to find a new casino deposit bonus, for example, there are matters for which one must go to more solid and believable sources in order to make sure they have the whole picture.

The Vulnerability of Social Media Outlets

Simply because it’s so simple for anyone to achieve thousands of followers or friends on social media networks, it is fair to deduct that these persons can also be easily influenced. And if we were to believe the new proof that the Russians were involved both on social media and hacker attacks to disrupt the normal flow of the US elections, these networks are really vulnerable. One of the leaders of Alliance for Securing Democracy, ASD short, stated that all of the social media services are prone to abuse and manipulation, especially by other hostile intelligence services.

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Bots and Fake Accounts

The proliferation of bots and automated fake accounts in order to make certain topics very popular, or even viral, is a real concern for all democracy, not just in the US. And this is really scary as such bots can do just about anything, change the results of very important polls and fake petition signing. Such use of social media can lead to them becoming tools for social control, the exact opposite of the idea with which these networks were developed in the first place.

These bots are compared to cyber troops for the party or, sometimes even countries, that wish to use them for shady purposes. Everything can be done from empowering a certain opinion with support to create a louder echo for it or even actually manipulating the public into believing things that are not true at all.

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In conclusion, it is obvious that social media has always been a two-way street even though its first purpose was to easily connect people and lead towards a beneficial and prosperous globalization. And if you look at the efforts made by some countries to control this part of the internet, you will definitely want to think twice before believing something on Facebook or Twitter without having a reliable source.

About the Author

Thomas Nemel is a businessman and a writer. He says, “The second thing is my hobby, though I take it seriously and put my mind into pieces I compose. Hope you will enjoy my publications!”

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