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Democracy & Social Media

  • IASbaba
  • June 22, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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POLITY/ ECONOMY

Topic:

  • GS-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. 
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Democracy & Social Media

Context: The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how social media, by connecting with various stakeholders, can help average citizens and complement the efforts of the governments in dealing with the crisis.

Positive Impacts of Social Media

  • Sustains Democracy: Social media is an instrument that can question the seemingly invincible governments, make them accountable and bring sustained change driven by people beyond one vote in years.
  • Direct connect between Politicians & Citizens: Social media provides unadulterated access for political leaders to connect with their own citizens
  • Civic Engagement: Social media provides the platform for people tend to discuss & debate news over any topics. This interaction of people from varied backgrounds strengthens civil engagement in society.

Challenges

  • Political Misuse: Data shows that political parties mostly in the last two years have spent around $800 million (Rs 5,900 crore) on election ad. Micro-targeting through social media can enable half-baked information to alter the agenda of elections & cause faultlines in society.
  • Fake News: The anonymous nature provided by social media platforms can help people to spread fake news and misinformation. Since there is no editorial board in these companies, unlike traditional media, which makes the spread of fake news easy
  • Intolerance to Contrary views: One of the most common criticisms of social media is that it creates echo chambers where people only see viewpoints they agree with — further driving us apart.

Conclusion

If there’s one fundamental truth about social media’s impact on democracy it’s that it amplifies human intent — both good and bad.

Connecting the dots:

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