The Effects Of Social Media On Public And Political Institutions Of Society

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Introduction Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have had an incredible effect on the relation between the public and political institutions of society. But the nature and depth of this relationship between social media and political discourse remains to be explored. The Effects of Social Media (Positive and Negative) Grant, Grant and Moon (2010) analyzed the frequency with which Australian politicians made use of social media. They considered specifically how different social media facilitated interaction between politicians and the public The authors found that social media could help facilitate more communications between the public and their polticians (Grant, Grant & Moon, 2010). It allows for more exposure between those who make laws and the general public, with the caveat that it is easier for the politician to access their constituents through social media than it is for someone in the general public to contact their politician via Facebook (Dumitrica, 2014). Meanwhile, members of the public may find social media gives them a new way to participate in political discourse. Kim, Hsu and Zuniga note how social media’s influence an individual’s expression of their political views, even while it can be a useful tool for those socially isolated or introverted in public to become involved in political discourse (Kim, Hsu & Zuniga, 2013). Shi highlighted the influence of social media on political views, and political expression, even more, noting “the complex interplays among different layers of state power, the individual...(Shi, 2013, p. 115),” and “that social media can also be effective in helping a public wrestle the power to provide the dominant cultural narratives of the people away from governments or ... ... middle of paper ... between members of an online social media community (Swigger, 2013). Conclusion and Recommendations for further research In sum, the influence of social media on political discourse is multifaceted. One can say, summarily, that it is having a widespread, systemic influence on political discourse. But whether that influence is for better or worse, beyond subjective point of view, depends on the specific context in which social media is used for political discourse, and by whom. On the whole, social media can be a tool for building alternate political/ideological communities, and re-appropriating dominant cultural narratives from hegemonic governments. But it can also polarize communities, and debilitate political discussion. It can also be a forum for faulty information unscrutinized by anyone with journalistic expertise can be made wholesale, online.
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