Social media tools such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, etc. have shifted the dynamics for how politics is portrayed and played out on the internet. These social media platforms have raised new questions about the participation of young adults in a democratic system. And these same platforms are lauded for spurring the involvement of young adults in using social media to share campaigns, create political content, express their support for a candidate, etc. Obama’s successful campaign was due to energizing and mobilizing supporters, particularly young adults, through social media platforms. Roughly 21 percent of online adults use social media platforms to get information about politics or get involved in the campaign. The use of the internet and social media platforms has completely changed how participating in politics and the democratic system can shape the perspective of many citizens.
Research has shown positive 25% of the participants from the US stated that social media platforms did have an impact on the transparency in their government. In Kenya, 70% of the Kenyan respondents believed that their government has increased transparency on their social media platforms. 59% of Nigerian citizens and 46% of Pakistanis claimed that social media platforms had a meaningful impact on government transparency.
Internet and Politics
The internet has impacted politics in many ways. Social media platforms are where people get their news from, mostly before media houses. It is a medium that gives the easiest access to politics and other news. Also, social media platforms give citizens the chance to speak up about the lack of basic rights, their grievances as a citizen of the country, and demand for action to be taken.
- Government-enabled transparency. In any government, transparency is letting citizens or anyone affected by the decision-making of the government know about the process behind these actions. It is also one of the most powerful mechanisms to fight corruption. For instance, Ecuador recently allowed for free access to public information to citizens as their fundamental rights enabled through e-government. This means that citizens of Ecuador can access a large amount of microdata available to them through any public institution.
- News source. TV news channels and online news services are in competitioncompete with the latter getting more responses. A Pew Research study from the year 2016 estimated that 62% of the adults get their news on social media. The fast spread of information on social media can impact perception about political figures with information that may or may not be true. This can either gain new followers for the political figure or it can damage his reputation.
- Crisis Communication. The coronavirus pandemic is just one example of how the public was constantly looking towards their government not just for direction, but also on how to cope. It is especially imperative for the government to The government must get the message out in a calm and professional mannercalmly and professionally because the wrong message could rile things up. This also means no using of exclamation points or all-caps in tweets or other social media platforms, rather official fonts that can convey messages in a controlled and reassuring way.
- Customized news source. Politics junkies can catch up to their news by customizing their RSS feeds, getting updates on their favorite topics or political figure at any time of the day. And that too in multiple formats. Internet users can also contribute their own thoughts on to any political discussions.
- E-democracy. A combination of electronic and democracy, e-democracy aims to promote democracy through information and communications technology. For instance, electronic voting has been introduced for citizens’ ease of access and to achieve common constitutional goals. All adult citizens are eligible to participate in the development and creation of law.
To sum it up, the internet and its technology are being used to facilitate the political process in the government. Doing so may help to address concerns about the political system. The Internet can be used to keep citizens informed about issues and allow them to participate in the decision-making process along with the government with complete transparency. This makes having internet access an important criterion. For instance, having internet access from Xfinity internet packages will help citizens stay up to date with the goings-on in their government.