Graduate Program in International Affairs -

Social media was invented recently, yet its rise was seemingly meteoric. It changed the world forever and enabled digital communication, something the Internet had already made much easier and more accessible.

Regular people use social media platforms to post personal things about themselves, brands promote their products and services, and non-profit organizations actively gather donations for charity. But there is one more way social media platforms are utilized – politics.

The political power of social media is surprisingly big. The discussion around this topic has become more widely known in recent years. And that’s why here are the main ways social media is utilized for political needs that you should be aware of.

#1 It Can Inspire Political Participation

The main way social media can influence politics is by inspiring political participation. This can happen in a variety of ways. Some people become aware of more socio-economic issues and want to change something, so they see political participation (e.g., voting) as a solution. Others are influenced more actively by specific political campaigns aimed at them.

Social media can also inspire political participation due to peer pressure or a desire to fit in. For instance, if an individual’s friends are constantly posting about the latest political news and events, that person could become more interested in politics because it will allow them to discuss respective topics with their friends.

#2 It Can Spread Awareness and Inform People

As mentioned above, people can become more aware of specific issues by learning about them through social media. This kind of information spread has proven critical in different political situations, from elections to protests.

Social media is the perfect space for spreading information quickly, but this can also be why misinformation spreads. Fake news has been at the center of discussion for quite some time now, with some countries starting to create censorship laws to fight misinformation (and even truthful information that could be detrimental to the image of the country’s government).

#3 It Can Deceive and Manipulate Opinions

If you are writing a paper on the power of social media, you likely know how easy it is to be deceived and manipulated by social media. I need help. Can I pay someone to write my paper? Yes, they can assist you in writing less biased work on the topic.

To learn more about how social media is used for politics, including for deceit, you can check out the Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA), which is designed with critical and engaged thinking of the New School in mind. Faculty members are experienced in public advocacy and other sectors, while the student community is diverse.

#4 It Can Be Used for Active Discussions

Besides spreading information and informing and educating people, social media is also a great space for sharing opinions and discussing all kinds of topics. This is why many communities, groups, and forums are dedicated to discussing the latest political news. People who don’t have anyone else to talk to about this offline can find someone to have these discussions with online.

Even the comment section under a political news post can be a space for discussion. Such conversations often turn toxic and aggressive, while forums can become ideal spaces for radical and alt-right movements.

#5 It Can Be Used to Get Statistics

From a more scientific perspective, social media platforms can be used for collecting statistics related to politics. Researchers can find survey participants easier and get to know people’s political views and everything related.

Moreover, social media platforms are now also seen as a space for performing analysis. Researchers can analyze comments and posts to find valuable and interesting findings about politics, sociology, and communication.

Final Words

Being aware of the political power of social media is critical today, even if you are personally not politically active or even interested in politics. Your opinion can be shaped subtly, so you must be aware of this phenomenon and think critically about what you see and read.