Is Social Media Bad For Democracy?

Social media is taking over our lives from Twitter to Facebook to those other sites that I do not use…..but with all this extra personal emphasis on using social media could that have an adverse  effect on society?

Social media is even found in all these investigations going on in Washington and something about it seems in the news almost daily.

Our president uses Twitter as his personal media outlet and has been very successful with its use….he has gotten many people to follow and is effecting the very democracy we all know and love….

But is it possible that all this social media use could be bad for our democracy?

Recent revelations about how Russian agents inserted ads on Facebook, in an attempt to influence the 2016 election, present a troubling question: Is Facebook bad for democracy?

As a scholar of the social and political implications of technology, I believe that the problem is not about Facebook alone, but much larger: social media is actively undermining some of the social conditions that have historically made democratic nation states possible.

I understand that’s a huge claim, and I don’t expect anyone to believe it right away. But, considering that nearly half of all eligible voters received Russian-sponsored fake news on Facebook, it’s an argument that needs to be on the table.

With all that said….what do you think about the use of social media and our democracy?


12 thoughts on “Is Social Media Bad For Democracy?

  1. I’m no fan of Facebook. It is easily manipulated, and driven by the usual profit motive. Twitter seems to supply the need for ‘disposable’ thought these days, and the photo-platforms have become trite, in many cases. But they do all supply one basic human need, that need to ‘follow’. Just as i am following your blog, us humans seem to need to feel like a part of something, even if that something is being one of a huge group of followers, or like-minded bloggers.
    If you consider Blogging to be social media, (I’m not sure that I do) then it is perhaps the adult version, with more thought given to what is published, and time taken to discuss the results. As for outside involvement and manipulation, that is always going to happen. If there was no social media, then they would send letters, or make phone calls. The Internet just makes it all much easier.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Social media to me is these instantaneous response things like FB Twitter and the like….blogging is more educational that social media gossip ….but that is just my thought….chuq

  2. It’s 5:30 in the morning and I am reading you. That may be one of the more positive aspects of my involvement with social media. I have learned to question everything and then I still screw up on occassion. I am reasonably intelligent and educated, more importantly I’m retired and have time to try and research.

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  4. Good article! I think, the will of the more is not always the best. Before they are asked, they need education and information about the state related things. This is – as example in Germany – not to do with people working only near slave labour in industrial sheds.

    1. I agree….they can post anything a swear it is truth…..I am very careful about what I read and post… least I try every now and then something will sneak pass me…LOL have a good day….chuq

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