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Social Media and Politics

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  • Interesting!. Just how politics and social media goes. Checkout this site http://www.mario-dumont.com for more plotics and social media blogs.
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Social Media and Politics

  1. 1. BA (Hons) Advertising Social Media & Politics
  2. 2. Social Media…. … more than just marketing
  3. 3. ‘ Democracy is a deeply communicative brand of politics – it demands communication and exchange of information and views, it demands dialogue and a public sphere in which citizens can engage in the practices which define them as citizens and the society as democratic’ Darin Barney, The Network Society, (Oxford: Polity, 2004)
  4. 4. Definition of Democracy “ Democracy in its purest or most ideal form would be a society in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
  5. 5. Pillars of Democracy <ul><li>Dahl’s (1971) Empirical Conditions for Democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Election of officials through free and fair elections </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive suffrage </li></ul><ul><li>Right all citizens to run for public office </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom of expression </li></ul><ul><li>Right to information other than from official sources </li></ul><ul><li>Right to form political parties and interest groups </li></ul>Jean Grugel, Democratization – A Critical Introduction, (London: Palgrave, 2002
  6. 6. Pillars of Democracy http://www.idea.int/publications/sod/democracy_assessment.cfm
  7. 7. <ul><li>Information is essential to the democratic process as only an informed citizen can cast an informed vote </li></ul><ul><li>In order to make meaningful decisions, citizens of democratic societies must have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of societal issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability of alternative options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding of political system </li></ul></ul>The importance of the informed citizen
  8. 8. The political role of the mass media <ul><li>Historically the mass media have been the predominant source of political information for citizens of a democratic society </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally, the mass media should fulfil their political role by: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ disseminating the full range of political opinions, enabling the public to make political choices and enter the national life’. </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Wheeler, Politics and the Mass Media, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>The mass media political role in democratic societies is centred around: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acting as a fourth estate and public sphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acting as impartial, objective and independent brokers of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acting with political and economic autonomy </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Public Sphere The political role of the mass media is centred on it’s role as a public sphere The public sphere can be defined as: “ a discursive space in which individuals and groups congregate to discuss matters of mutual interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment.”  
  10. 10. Media Pluralism and Democracy Pluralism can be defined as: ‘ a diversity of media owners, reflected both by the plurality of independent and autonomous media and the diversity of media contents offering different and independent voices, diverse political opinions and representations of citizens within the media’ Gillian Doyle, Media Ownership , (London: SAGE, 2002) Internal Pluralism A balanced range of political information, debate and opinion External Pluralism Provided from a wide range of independent sources – free from political and economic pressures or bias  
  11. 11. A few of the issues associated with this mass media in fulfilling their political role within a democratic society: Can the mass media truly fulfill their political role? <ul><ul><li>Agenda Setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political and Commercial Autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to Means of Production </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do these issues impact the mass media’s ability to fulfil their political role?? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acting as a fourth estate and public sphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independent from political and economic bias </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing a wide range of information, interpretation and opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  12. 12. How has the Internet and social media changed this?
  13. 13. The democratising potential of the Internet <ul><li>There has been much discussion around the democratic potential of the Internet – these often focus on it’s defining features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unmediated access to wide range of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two way communication channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution channel for wide variety of content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low barriers to entry for access and production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global reach of a connected network </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Participatory Culture Participatory culture refers to a culture in which private persons (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers). The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published media http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_culture
  15. 15. Participatory Culture
  16. 16. The democratising potential of the Internet <ul><li>It is these defining features that enhance democratic potential of this communication channel: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to means of production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to circulate ideas and content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to control the flow of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Removes pragmatic need for agenda setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Breaks down barrier between producer and consumer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversification of public sphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased internal and external plurality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymity can remove social stereotypes and hierarchy </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. And the rise of social media has further enhanced this…
  18. 18. “ The host of online technologies and platforms that allow users share resources and media content whilst communicating with their peers and connect with others” “ Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.”
  19. 19. The other side of the coin…. <ul><li>There are several issues with this ‘digital utopia’: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Overload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of Online Discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fragmentation of Public Sphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of Accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dependent on Provision of Equal Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumption of Independence & Autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet Censorship </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. How are politicians embracing social media?
  21. 21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBzjRdEMjEU
  22. 22. <ul><li>Obama was not considered to be a prime presidential candidate, according to </li></ul><ul><li>traditional metrics – other candidates had considerable resources </li></ul><ul><li>Used social media to increase awareness of campaign – engaging citizens to </li></ul><ul><li>take a more active and direct role in the campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged voters to support and amplify the campaign through their own </li></ul><ul><li>networks </li></ul>Obama and the 2008 Presidential Campaign
  23. 23. All with a little help from his friends…
  24. 24. http://www.barackobama.com/
  25. 28. So how about in the 2010 UK General Election? At the time, there were 24 million UK users of Facebook…. … .And around the same amount of people voted in the 2010 election
  26. 29. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Ua4kPMwrU&feature=player_embedded
  27. 30. &quot;The dawn of the digital election this year is a transformative moment for democracy in Britain. By allowing voters to cross-examine their leaders, these digital debates will put the voters firmly in charge. This marks a decisive shift away from the constraints of top-down traditional media.” Richard Allen – Facebook’s Director of Policy http://bcove.me/xl6c6ua2
  28. 31. http://www.youtube.com/ukelection
  29. 33. http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=387348402130
  30. 36. How are citizens using social media?
  31. 37. <ul><li>A digital citizen commonly refers to a person utilizing information technology information technology (IT) in order to engage in society, politics, and government participation </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_citizen </li></ul><ul><li>As a digital citizen, using social media you can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss social, economic and political issues with peers and online contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate directly with politicians and decision makers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share and publish opinions with an amplified audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organise protests and other forms of political activism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create support groups for political parties </li></ul></ul>Are you a digital citizen?
  32. 42. Remember Citizen Journalism??? “ T he concept of members of the public &quot;playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_journalism <ul><li>Drivers behind increased prevalence of citizen journalism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile Technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower Barriers to Entry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real Time Communications </li></ul></ul>
  33. 43. Then…. <ul><li>Uni-directional </li></ul><ul><li>Top Down </li></ul><ul><li>High barriers to entry </li></ul><ul><li>Print and Linear Broadcast Journalism </li></ul>
  34. 44. Now…. <ul><li>Multi-directional and conversational </li></ul><ul><li>Top Down and Bottom Up </li></ul><ul><li>Low barriers to entry </li></ul><ul><li>Real Time </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen and Digital Journalism </li></ul><ul><li>Additional channels </li></ul><ul><li>Global Reach </li></ul>
  35. 45. How is social media being used to facilitate activism?
  36. 46. From the more trivial…
  37. 47. … to the making of history http://socialcapital.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/twitter-facebook-and-youtubes-role-in-tunisia-uprising/
  38. 48. … to the making of history
  39. 49. The role of social media in the Arab Spring http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/mar/22/middle-east-protest-interactive-timeline
  40. 50. Look at how social media was used in different uprisings and protests…
  41. 51. Social Media Module on SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/UCFadvertising
  42. 52. Clemi Hardie [email_address] @clemihardie

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