Prior to theadvent of technological platforms political actions and politics excluded alarge mass of population.
Thus there was little or no participation on the partof individuals in politics. With the development of telecommunication andinternet people have been included in the political processes, and in thepolitics of the country. They are now able to discuss, create activist group,organize demonstration at a larger scale. Social media has enabled them toreach to a wide array of audience in a short duration. This allows forefficient and more spontaneous communication amongst the citizens.
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Also itmakes the state more accountable and its activities more transparent. Social media hasproved to be ubiquitous and most efficient mode of dissemination ofinformation. In the case of Philipine President who was ousted due to massprotest mainly organized through text messaging in 2001 marks one of theearliest interjection of social media and political behaviour, thus affectingthe politics. Later in 2004, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Estrada wasforced to quit his office due to mass protest organized swiftly under aegis ofsocial media and text messaging. These were the times when SNSs were still onthe rise as the now prominent SNSs like facebook and Twitter were started in2004 & 2006 respectively.
It was the 2008US presidential elections that saw massive usage of SNSs in which Barack Obamawas quick to gain an upper hand. It cant be denied that massive popularity ofObama during the elections on internet helped him win the elections. Political instituteshave been quick to understand the role that social media can play. That is whyin the second decade many nations have reformed their old laws regarding printmedia and social media. Later on in Iran in 2009, social media played a pivotalrole in the Presidential elections that saw the return of Mahmoud Ahmadinejadto office for the second consecutive term.
Anonymity of identity on internetplayed crucial role in its popularity. Platforms such as twitter and blogscoupled with their widespread base and ability to remain anonymous allowed themorganize protest and activist groups. Although the protest didn’t bear fruit itrather led to more stringent laws on social media in Iran.
Similarly Belarus emailcampaign which was protesting against the second term of President AleksandrLukashenko, when the protest were crushed, he adopted a strict policy towardssocial media. Similarly ill-fated was the 2010 Red Shirt Uprising in Thailand. Allthese events have demonstrated the far reaching impact of social media onpolitics. Social media in all these events has been used to achieve Politicalcommunication. This is achieved as opinions, views, ideas are shared andpropagated around a large audience, thus enables a political issue to reachmany people who might participate in that matter. It increases participation ineither direct or indirect way. Participation is achieved by allowingindividuals to vote which is largely formed on the basis of political culturewhich is synthesized using political communication.
thus social media creates aripple across various factor that govern the political behaviour.