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How political violence in the US has evolved since Trump’s election ?

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Par   •  30 Janvier 2019  •  Commentaire de texte  •  446 Mots (2 Pages)  •  443 Vues

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Do social media threaten democracy ?

Facebook, Google and Twitter were supposed to save politics as good information drove out (=expulser) prejudice and falsehood. However something has gone wrong. Hate speech, fake news and manipulative campaigns show that our media landscape has changed fundamentally in recent years, and our democracy has changed with it. Nevertheless, we should not see ourselves as victims of social media. Rather, we should learn how to deal with it.

In many ways, the Internet and social media have changed our democracy for the better. Online petitions capture the sentiment of countless citizens, politicians are placed in direct contact with their voters via Facebook or Twitter, and more people than ever take part in public debates. Nevertheless, social media’s dark side is undeniably real: populist parties and movements in particular use automated bots, fake news and data-driven manipulation in their public relations work, while foreign hackers interfered with the American and French presidential elections.

Recently, two team from Democracy Fund and Omidyar Network assembled to investigate the relationship between social media and democracy. They identified six key areas where social media has become a direct threat to our democratic ideals. First, there is the idea that social media are an echo-chamber : As they increasingly become a primary distribution channel, social media platforms create bubbles of one-sided information and opinions, perpetuating biased views and diminishing opportunities for healthy discourse. Secondly, social media spread false or misleading information. These false and distorted pieces of information can intensify divisiveness and make it difficult for people to trust what they read. Moreover, social media are used for political manipulation. Trolls and bots, disguised as ordinary citizens, have become a weapon of choice for governments and political leaders to shape online conversations. Governments in Turkey, China, Israel, Russia and the United Kingdom are known to have deployed thousands of hired social media operatives who run multiple accounts to shift or control public opinion. Another fact is that advertisers and their sophisticated targeting mechanisms drive the attention economy. To do so, social media collect a lot of information about us and that wan be consider as a violation of ou privacy. Finally, social media can be a place of intolerance, exclusion and hate speech.

Social media leaders, policymakers, government officials and other key stakeholders have to delve deeper into the impact this technology is having on our nation and, ultimately, to identify tangible solutions. This isn’t a partisan problem, and it’s not something any one person, company or government can fix. But someone must lead the charge, and I respectfully call upon the social media companies at the center of this issue to drive this critical dialogue.


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