SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE IN POLITICS

Social media utilization has evolved from social interactions, advertising and political demonstrations in recent years. In politics social media has helped influence policy makers to craft policies considering the public expectations not ignoring them, to-date it has been used as a forceful tool to voice the concerns of political malpractices across the globe. This piece of report will be focused on Joseph Estrada Case, the Arab Spring Revolutions in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt as well as the Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party Movement and lastly The Blackberry Uprisings in the United Kingdom (UK).

JOSEPH ESTRADA

Joseph Estrada a former president of the Republic of Philippines was ruled out of office by the use of social media. Whereby, in 2007 Philippines activists used the mobile phones to help disseminate text messages and coordinate actions leading to the fall of Estrada. The uprising was done through the use of mobile short message services (SMS) – close to seven million text messages were sent that week. That initiative made it easy for activist to create effective communication among those who criticised Estrada’s administration; actions like those utilized a smart mob. Manila is now known as one of the effective social networking sites (SNS). The delivery of sms’s mounted pressure on Estrada to such an extent that he decided to resign from the presidency position

TUNISIA

Arab spring is a series of revolutionary anti-government protests, which began from Tunisia and spread to parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It all began when Tunisian street vendor Mohammad Bouazizi set himself on fire (self-immolation) in front of the municipality offices. The action of self-immolation is seen as a catalyst of the entire Arab Spring. The protesters even added the issue of the Ben Ali’s son accusing him of living a luxurious life and criticized the outrageous expenditure of President’s family. The critics were done on the websites such that rebellious hackers attacked the government websites; wiki leaks spread around the Tunisian web to expose his son. After the wiki leaks were blocked Tunisians resorted to their cell phones and spread the information through Facebook and twitter. They also uploaded the videos of clashes in the streets on YouTube. The updates of messages portraying images of government forces brutality, enraged the government and ended up being closed, as a result that brought more protests to such an extent Ben Ali’s 23 year rule was over thrown.

EGYPT

In Egypt Social media supported by internet was useful for transmission, gathering news, connection and co-ordination; taking photographs of protesters and people who were ill-treated with mobile phones and satellite TV for global reporting on the whole situation. Facebook and Twitter rapid interaction features helped groups meet and prepare on how to oppose government forces; through teargas attacks. The use of social networks helped a lot such that, the Arab and international audiences were able to learn more about the events through social media, with #Egypt which seemed to take the centre stage. In January 27 2007, the government blocked the internet and telecommunications systems, with that action many organisations and world government condemned the act of social networks shutdown which placed Hosni Mubarak government into extreme pressure.

LIBYA

In 2011 Libya too faced the music of the Arab Spring Revolutions, when protest were organised to demonstrate their opposition to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi administration through social media; a page appeared on Facebook under the name ‘The Uprising of the 17th February, a day for rage in Libya’, by the use of this page Libya, had learned through Tunisia and Egypt. The uprising was done because 1,269 political prisoners were killed in Abusalin prison in Tripoli during Ghaddafi’s rule. The page that had attracted 82,000 likes also posted photos of Ghaddafi’s son living a luxurious life in Europe a sign of corruption regime. The clashes of the government and the civilians were also posted on Facebook and uploaded on YouTube. The government later shut down the internet, because of the rapid excessive smart mobs by protesters and the use of sites posed utmost threat to the government, as a result of the social media Ghaddafi’s rule suffered a blow.

OCCUPY WALL STREET

On the 17 September 2011 a group of about 2,000 protesters assembled in lower Manhattan and occupied Zuccoti Park. The motive was to demonstrate the issue of growing economic inequality and the redundant influence of corporations of government. The inequality was perceived to on the ratio of 1:9, where 1% wealthy elites interest were opposed to 99% of the population. Protestors created Facebook sites such as Occupy Together to coordinate mass protests.  Occupiers utilize Twitter to keep the public updated with constant tweets of activities at both protests and General Assembly meetings.  YouTube uploads of police brutality incite public uproar, more individuals participated in General Assembly meetings and decision-making processes within the movement through live streaming technology.  Occupy Wall Street activists were sceptical of the mainstream political system as a vehicle for social change, especially when Barack Obama regime failed to produce changes expected.

TEA PARTY MOVEMENT

Tea Party movements can be traced back to Boston around 2007. The demonstrations are said to be incited by CNBC business commentator Rick Santelli speech in 2009, criticising economic crisis of Obama administration. Within 24h0urs his speech was all over the internet; websites were created in support of his speech and tweets were flowing too. On tax day April 15th thousands of tea parties were held around the country protesting against; taxation and government intervention and spending to the national budget and reduction of states’ rights. The Tea parties are pro Republican; they are capitalists.

BLACKBERRY UPRISING IN THE UK

The riots in United Kingdom were influenced by Tottenham police brutality. The English were campaigning for the riots on Facebook and twitter, but the Blackberry messenger service has been singled out for the most criticism among all. BBM is so secured; encryption facility ensures users messages are hidden from public view. David Lammy MP for Tottenham even demanded the service should be shut down during riots, Home security Theresa May did meet with representatives of Facebook, Twitter, RIM (the marker of Blackberry) to discuss potential network closures.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will no doubt impact the whole world in the coming years, concerning the way their use has escalated and playing a major role in politics.

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About moratehimashinini

A journalism student, who is enrolled with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
This entry was posted in Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE IN POLITICS

  1. Portia says:

    Started reading your posts and your voice from early ths year and am very proud of your vivid eye towards your invironment..you never cease to amaze me with your creativity and style of tackln and touchn whatever is on your ming..

    Like

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