The use of social media as an influential force in politics is an undeniable reality. From the election of Donald Trump to our very own Brexit referendum, the power of social media platforms to shape the political landscape and public opinion is undeniable. However, with the explosion of fake news in recent times, the power of social media is both a blessing and a curse.
But what is “Fake News”?
Fake news is a phenomenon that has been around for decades, but it has been amplified in recent years with the arrival of social media. Fake news is defined as false information presented as fact, and it is often spread through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube. This type of misinformation has the potential to influence public opinion and sway political opinion in a negative way.
The problem: social media, politics and fake news
The ease with which fake news can be spread through social media channels has made it difficult to contain, especially in the realm of politics. Politicians and their campaigns have been known to spread false information or exaggerated claims in order to gain an advantage in their respective elections. This type of misinformation has the potential to sway public opinion and can have far-reaching consequences for the political landscape.
What can be done to stop this?
Social media companies have a responsibility to monitor and prevent the spread of fake news on their platforms. They must take steps to ensure that the information shared on their sites is accurate and verified. This includes taking action against accounts that are found to be spreading false information or engaging in manipulation tactics.
Additionally, social media companies must make sure that their platforms are not being used to spread hate speech, which can also be used to manipulate public opinion and sway political views. They should also be taking steps to ensure that only verified accounts are allowed on their sites and that any accounts suspected of spreading false information are promptly removed. This can be helped when social media users, like you, see these sorts of posts and flag and report them to the social media platforms.
The dangers of social media combined with fake news in politics are clear. It is a recipe for disaster and can be used to manipulate public opinion and sway election outcomes. By being responsible, social media companies and users can help to ensure that their platforms are not being used to spread misinformation and hate speech. This will help to create a safe environment for users, like us, to engage in political discourse without being swayed by false information.