Social media as a communication instrument
Social media in today's world play a prominent role as it has created a hub of connectivity and become a tool of mass communication the reach of new media has gained popularity over time it has become a voice of the voiceless beating the traditional mode of communication social media has most used tool of communication
Effect of social media on Politics
Earlier television was the sole source of information but now with the emergence of social media public keeps themselves updated from anywhere as they carry the whole world in their pocket and politicians have also actively started using social media to stay connected with the public
For example during COVID-19 when everything switched to online mode from physical mode politicians use to keep the public aware of what happening around the world, to spread awareness Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leading politicians used their Twitter, and Instagram accounts to stay in touch with public
Social media campaigns like Mann ki Batt, Yuva Pratibha, Pariksha Par Charcha, etc have been organized by the government with the motive of spreading awareness
Another example of how social media is a great tool that builds connectivity with the public that supports the government is when Anna Hazare started the Satyagraha (fasting for a cause) movement for the Lokpal anti-corruption bill in the Indian parliament he went on a hunger strike
This request was denied by the Indian government. The move caught the attention of Indian and international media, millions of followers. People showed their support by Social media such as Twitter and Facebook. There are other online signature campaigns like Avaaz In just 36 hours he collected over 10,000 signatures. In response to this, the government decided to seriously consider the Introduction of the Lokpal Law into Parliament.
Earlier due to the lack of connectivity public was not able to connect with the government or any leader but social media has filled the gap as the reach of the public has increased the scope of interaction has increased which has made effective communication with the government easier now you need not to take appointment of political leaders you can directly connect with them through one click
Indian political concerns are being aired and debated on social media on a daily basis. The finance minister addressed the public on the budget through Google Hangout rather than on television. The Planning Commission, the Minister of Road Transport and Highway. Even if just 12% of India's population has access to the Internet, the country is the world's third-largest online market and the fastest growing for its size. Indeed, India is likely to surpass the United States in terms of online users by 2020.
New media has come up with advanced versions of communication. Earlier the process of data collection was both time and money-consuming but now google forms, a better data analytics system has come up which has supported political parties. For example, before social media politicians used to go door to door to promote their party during elections or to collect data regarding problems faced by the public but now with one click they get access to public data
If we look at the other side of social media's effect on politics we can trace the negative impacts also According to Forbes's report the number of social media users worldwide has swelled to a record 4.9 billion people globally. In 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people use social media across the world what's more, this number is expected to jump to approximately 5.85 billion users by 2027.
With increasing access not only in India but around the world, there are people of different backgrounds, behaviors, and social media provides supporters with the opportunity to share their views, creating a political divide. These opinions can sometimes be overly controversial as Opinions about government are Openly shared without filters, sometimes creating a space of hatred for both sides
The term propaganda is not new to society it has been existing in society and kept changing its form over time earlier to spread propaganda politicians use print media like pamphlets, banners, etc but now with the changing time now politicians have started using social media as a mode of communication or we can say the mode of spreading propaganda to the masses.
Exposure to different viewpoints has been increasing as it has become an open source that let the public share their opinions
The Daily Universe's account organized an Instagram pool as a result 89% of the 273 respondents stated that social media has shaped their opinion
To swing the mind of voters information regarding political parties are manipulated through social media as political parties target the likes and dislike of the public and later make strategies related to it as social media easier to manipulate
Political parties like Karnataka Pradesh Legislative Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Karnataka Jantha Party, and Janta Dal observe using social media to connect to the masses And parties have established an IT department responsible for the official accounts BJP is far ahead of its opponents on social media. But in the Karnataka election, we saw it A major defeat for the Ruling BJP Government as Role and Use of Social Media in Karnataka Elections were limited to tech-savvy youth in urban areas whereas in rural areas of Karnataka usage of Social media and the Internet is finite which made a challenging situation for the party to reach the rural population which is also considered as real voters
According to Economic Time in the year 2022 more than 60 social media accounts, including YouTube channels and Facebook and Instagram pages as spread of Anti Indian fake news were increasing Not only has the political issue been seen here but the divide that has been created between the public as they support different parties the cases are increasing day by day During the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump used his social media account to say the election was rigged and that he needed re-election after losing the election.
The repercussions of President Trump's online behavior became apparent with the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 by supporters of former president The internet has created a global village that provides reach and access to the world and has an excellent influence on the minds of humans but media literacy is a vital factor for both political parties and the public as it leads not only access to accurate information but also safeguards public and political parties from any kind of social riots and political divide In any case, democratic politicians should not choose any other new communication mediums, even if some see it primarily as a PR tool because it tends to manipulate the public.
Many political parties' victory was seen creating "fake" accounts to gain followers during elections should be avoided.
The emergence of New media has become the backbone of society which has provided empowerment the public to let their “Aam Admi Awaz” reach the government, it also lets youth come together and question the working or decision of the government but nothing is good in excess so the youth or the public need to understand the boundaries to maintain peace in the online medium of communicating The government needs to focus on both the tech-friendly public and the public that still uses a traditional medium like a newspaper, or television regarding any political news they shouldn't be sidelined.
Social media usage in relation to political affairs is still growing as that has become an integral part of society one need to understand its both pons and cons
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