Effects Of Digital Media On Politics

Politics and public are the two extreme P’s of a stick that cannot remain intact without the other. In an advanced digital era with the media taking up a huge proportion of responsibility and credit for influencing, it could be seen that politics demonstrated the true pros and cons of having such power of the domain. Although the chain of causality between digital media and political participation are said to have been positive, one would wonder if it’s entirely true.

Media, in any form, has been portrayed to be having extreme power ever since the right to Freedom of Expression was established and practiced upon. The public needs information about who they’re voting for, and the media hands them the assurance that they seek in context to the decision being made. Among the multifold function being played by the media, few of the key functions would revolve around maintaining direct contact with voters, providing cheap and economic advertising strategies, sensationalizing and tailoring news according to the public’s needs and deriving feedback.

An important example of media role in the political domain can be reflected upon through the referendum of United Kingdom (UK) to exit European Union (EU). The EU was a ‘single market’ that was created with the idea that countries who came together are more unlikely to go into war with each other. However, over time, UK was able to realize that the EU is only proving to drag through their inflow, distributing whatever was gained to the other members merely because of the policies the Union had declared.

The aim of Brexit was emphasized with one key message being put out, ‘to take the control back’. UK had been having housing and immigration problems for years together, yet they never had an opportunity to act on it. The withdrawal from the EU is what seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to attain monotony.

But how much importance could social media have possibly played in the withdrawal that is set to happen in October? A lot. The media stepped into the shoes of an agenda setter and worked throughout to mold an opinion for the public. However, the opinion that was molded was claimed to have been purely one sided and not all covering. The media campaigns that were initiated around this particular phase revolved around the pros the immigration department would attain.

For several months, the 'Leave camp' had been building intense-popularity online and was setting the tone of the debate across all major social networking platforms. Not only did Brexit supporters have an all the more dominant and enthusiastic message, however, but they were also progressively viable in the utilization of an internet-based life. We find that the crusade to leave had routinely outmuscled its opponent, with progressively vocal and dynamic supporters crosswise over practically all online life stages. This has prompted the enactment of a more prominent number of Leave supporters at the grassroots level and empowered them to completely command stages like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, affecting swathes of uncertain voters who essentially didn't have a clue what to think.

Multiple online blogs and channels were seen to have studied and analyzed the game plan of the Leave supporters. It was viewed that audience-specific strategies were premeditated and altered to. The messages and media files were presented in such where certain key specific trigger points were fed and implemented. These groups merely provided the public with what they wanted to witness.

The issue of immigration was and always had been an issue of central interest, however, it was only until 2016 did the parties find a spark to re-ignite the fire.

Life revolving around the internet has changed the idea of political crusading and will keep on assuming a key job in future races far and wide. As an ever-increasing number of individuals spend a noteworthy extent of their regular day to day existences on the web, this lifestyle is turning into an all the more dominant power to help and impact the spread of political thoughts and messages. What the EU choice has instructed us is this quickening innovation is available to all and can be utilized to shape the open motivation and drive social change, for positive or negative ways. 

16 December 2021
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