Essay on Public Opinion Meets the Internet

Essay on Public Opinion Meets the Internet

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The Internet along with other technologies has opened channels of communication. Not only has the Internet played a great role in forming international public opinions regarding the United States throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Western Europe, but it has also helped to democratize the rest of the world by allowing them to voice their own opinions. However, sometimes the incited cyber public opinions would lead to some extremely negative behaviors and cause serious problems like cyber bullying, real life crimes, and even a long time social unrest.
Internet has been acknowledged as one of the most efficient way to collect and reflect public opinions, for that people with different classes and races can express their opinions with no obstacles in virtual network spaces. People can speak out whatever they want just by typing on the keyboard within a second. Dr. Heather Savigny mentions in her article “Public Opinion, Political Communication and the Internet” that “The expansion of the internet as a new method of communication provides a potential challenge to the primacy of the traditional media and political parties as formers of public opinion” (1). People realized that the power of internet public opinion in the focus on social issues can be used as a weapon to affect government decision-makings. However, does public opinion only brings positive effects?
Public opinion is often emotional rather than rational, so it is extremely easy to be incited and would possibly cause cyber bullying, which means to attack one person or a small group of persons by using offensive language. The damage caused by cyber bullying to a person is not virtual but real. An article from PR Newswire called “Cyber Hunting and Cyber Bullying” tells a st...

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Hongo, Jun. "Japanese companies become protest targets in China." Japan Times 19 Sept. 2012: Points of View Reference Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.
"Internet Has Become Haven For Terrorists, Hate Groups: Wiesenthal Centre." Canadian Press, The (n.d.): Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.
Jarba, Ahmad (PresedentJarba). “Children of Syria are orphaned by Assad’s brutality. 5m children affected by crisis. This number has tripled in a year.” 17 January 2014, 10:05 a.m. Tweet.
TRAYWICK, CATHERINE A. "Whoops: Tragic Photo of Orphaned 'Syrian' Boy Is Fake."Foreign Policy. N.p., 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN. "Syria: Photos charging mass torture by regime 'fake'." CNN Wire 22 Jan. 2014: Points of View Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
"Conflict takes toll." Illawarra Mercury 02 Jan. 2014: 10. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.

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