Government and social media


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Government and social media

  1. 1. Government and Social media Social media has always been given a sceptical view by the governments all across the world. The ruling body of any country enjoys endless powers. It is the law making and policy deciding body that affects all the citizens of that particular country to a varied extent. As such, the social media becomes one of the appropriate platforms for the common man to discuss these policies and showcase their opinions and thoughts to one another. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter have been like a weapon used by the citizens at times against the government and at times in support of them.
  2. 2. For instance, the highly hyped occurrence of December 2012 saw the active use of the social media domain. #Nirbhaya was trending on Twitter and the issue of women safety was the most talked about topic on Facebook. Google India too showed its concern on Google Plus and the entire country was awakened to the happening via the effectiveness of these platforms. On the contrary, the political bodies have also been trying to use this domain to its full potential. Be it election campaigns or the regular public relation stunts, every politician now maintains a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account in order to engage with their voters and try swaying them towards themselves. Also, these new technologies are working in favour of them. Concepts like Social Media Monitoring have enabled these political leaders to be easily aware of what is being talked about them and their party and what needs to be modified, changed or eradicated. It will not be wrong to say that social media has reached to new levels and influenced the governance of a country in the past. The Government has also realised this strength and many a times witnessed its power. Many governmental authorities too have tried their hand at using the platform for the betterment of the people as a whole. In an effort to enlist citizens’ help in identifying specific places where roads can be improved, Bengaluru’s municipal corporation initiated a campaign encouraging citizens to take a picture or video of the pot-holes they spot, and upload it to the corporation’s website, and the corporation
  3. 3. would see that they are addressed. Now this is a positive step and this social media campaign saw a lot of uploads as well but then it is an overwhelming task to keep up with all the information and responses that pour in. The above stated example clearly showcases the love of the Bangalore government towards the social media and their will in using it as an opportunity to engage the citizens. Meanwhile statements from government entities that promote regulation of social media, a ban on the social networking sites clearly state that the government is into a love and hate relationship with the medium. When there is an uprising against the politicians or the government as a whole, the social media becomes a taboo for them which should then be banned. These examples and incidents highlight how government agencies are trying to use the web and social networks to engage meaningfully with citizens but are struggling with this objective. How strongly they are being affected when a citizen raises his voice and how well the common man can be stirred together by this one platform is to be pondered upon. Visit: