Argumentative essay, Social media

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Social Media Argumentative Essay

Social media platforms are approached as equalizing forces particularly for the disenfranchised people who are perceived to lack voice. This makes them be viewed as change agents in terms of promoting causes that would have been otherwise ignored (Olaniran & Williams 2020, p.78). Also, they are perceived as influential tools for overcoming media that is controlled by the state particularly in developing nations. Nonetheless, they are also being used as platforms for strengthening unruly forces and ideologies such as cultural homogeneity, xenophobia, globalization, and neo-Nazism. Thus, the current position of the platforms has made most people view them as tools that demean democracy rather than promoting equal and free democratic principles that they were initially perceived to enhance (Olaniran & Williams 2020, p.78). The main issue is whether social media is corrupting the democracy construct. From an analytical angle, social media is corrupting the democracy ideology in terms of the influence of the various platforms on political elections, significant global events such as Brexit, and the spread of conspiracy theories.

Social media is corrupting the democracy ideology in terms of its role in political elections with a good example being the 2016 U.S. elections. Trump’s presidential campaign team, during the 2016 elections, aimed at using the platforms to spread propaganda by using bots and fake news (Olaniran & Williams 2020, p.85). With social media as his persuasive tool, the campaigns by President Trump are perceived to have triggered anger including hyper-partisanship as they advocated ideologies and policies that promoted isolation from a global angle. They also promoted the need for closing the American border with reference to the strict immigration that banned individuals from certain countries to enter the U.S. (Olaniran & Williams 2020, p.85). Persily (2017, 63) presents the view that social media platforms were utilized by Trump’s campaigns to interfere with the existing paradigms regarding the management of elections especially the norms that define the political construct.

Social media is also corrupting the democracy ideology in terms of its role in the successful Brexit poll in Europe. The social media poll showed that the supporters of Brexit were 7 times and 5 times highly active on Twitter and Instagram respectively when compared to its opponents (Olaniran & Williams 2020, p.86). The associated view is that before the Brexit vote, some of the common threads on Twitter that were used to influence votes were “Immigrants have taken away our jobs”, “Immigrants are terrorists” and “We are British not Europeans” (Olaniran & Williams 2020, p.87). This presents a situation of online aggression taking control over the democracy construct.

Furthermore, social media corrupts democracy due to the heightened level of misinformation and propaganda in its content. For example, Twitter has been constantly utilized to enforce both chaos and stability between several areas particularly from a persuasive angle (Persily 2017, p.68). A good example involves the Pizzagate conspiracy where a false story about Hillary Clinton was spread by Michael Flynn Jr. with the claim that she was part of a child sex ring in collaboration with her campaign manager. The tweet caused chaos in the pizza parlor

in terms of a believer of the conspiracy entering the location and firing shots (Persily 2017, p.68). The basic view is that social media platforms are being used to cause chaos in the name of promoting democracy.

However, one may argue that social media platforms have enabled that advocating of important social issues such as the “Me Too” campaigns, and facilitating public outcry such as the shooting and killing of African American men by the American police and so forth. Be that as it may, they are also being used to promote partisanship and chaos in the name of individuals exercising their democratic rights. The examples highlighted above depict the manner in which the platforms have corrupted democracy, an aspect that needs to be considered and adequately managed in a world where almost every person is active on social media.

In brief, the discussion focused on highlighting how social media corrupts democracy. The 2016 U.S. elections, Brexit, and the effects of conspiracy theories such as the Pizzagate conspiracy theory depict how social media platforms have been unethically used by individuals in the name of using their democratic rights. This influences one to reflect on the relevance of such platforms in a world that is highly influenced by advancements in information technology.








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References Olaniran B., & Williams I. 2020. Social Media Effects: Hijacking Democracy and Civility in Civic Engagement. In: Jones J., and Trice M. (Eds). Platforms, Protests, and the Challenge of Networked Democracy, Rhetoric, Politics and Society. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, pp.77-94. Persily, N. 2017. Can democracy survive the Internet? Journal of Democracy, 28(2), pp.63–76.

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