Politics and media essay

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Published online: 9 Mar Sara Vissers et al. Published online: 3 Jul Kate Kenski et al. Published online: 7 Jun Published online: 12 May Published online: 24 Oct It is within human nature to believe what is told to us. We tend to believe the media because research is done by them and they are a main source of information. It was later discredited because documents it relied on were artificial. Another example of how the media is terrible for politics is it can be very one-sided.

Most of the larger news stations are owned by an extremely rich democrat or an extremely rich republican. If the media is allowed to have free reign about what they are allowed to say, it could easily bring down the career of any politician it is against. An example of how the media is good for politics, but bad for the American public is September There were accusations made that the Bush administration and the Saudi Arabians, who had flown the planes into the world trade center, have close family ties and that Bush essentially snuck them out of America.


Only a small article was released by the New York Times, and the rest of the media questioned what Bush would do about these atrocious attacks on the United States. Nevertheless, the media can also be good, when it comes to the war we are involved in right now. They cover up what politicians and activists do not want us to see because it may be too grotesque.

In 13 political detainees were executed at Abu Gharib, however it was deemed unfit to show the American public. Also in May , businessman Nick Berg was beheaded at the hands of Islamic militants. The media helped the politicians cover up the reality by not letting these graphic pictures be shown.

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It impacted the sex-scandal of ex-president Bill Clinton and his mistress Monica Lewinsky. The media jumped all over the chance to either smash or defend Clinton. The scandal was elaborated on, some accusations were false, and others were just exaggerated.

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The media tries to work its way around the truth, or elaborate on the actual facts. We recognize that the same tools that give people more voice can sometimes be used, by anyone, to spread hoaxes and misinformation. But even a handful of deliberately misleading stories can have dangerous consequences. To take just one example, in Australia a false news story claimed that the first Muslim woman to be a Member of Parliament had refused to lay a wreath on a national day of remembrance. This led people to flood her Facebook Page with abusive comments.

In the public debate over false news, many believe Facebook should use its own judgment to filter out misinformation. By helping people sharpen their social media literacy, we can help society be more resilient to misleading stories. Even with all these countermeasures, the battle will never end.

Hard Questions: What Effect Does Social Media Have on Democracy?

Misinformation campaigns are not amateur operations. They are professionalized and constantly try to game the system.

We will always have more work to do. One of the most common criticisms of social media is that it creates echo chambers where people only see viewpoints they agree with — further driving us apart. Compared with the media landscape of the past, social media exposes us to a more diverse range of views. The deeper question is how people respond when they encounter these differing opinions — do they listen to them, ignore them, or even block them?

Think about how our minds work.

That makes bursting these bubbles hard because it requires pushing against deeply ingrained human instincts. Research shows that some obvious ideas — like showing people an article from an opposing perspective — could actually make us dig in even more. A better approach might be to show people many views, not just the opposing side.

[Essay] Machine Politics by Fred Turner | Harper's Magazine

While we want Facebook to be a safe place for people to express themselves politically, we need to make sure no one is bullied or threatened for their views. To make matters more complex, governments themselves sometimes engage in such harassment. In one country we recently visited, a citizen reported that after he had posted a video critical of the authorities, the police paid him a visit to inspect his tax compliance. As more countries write laws that attempt to criminalize online discourse, the risk grows that states use their power to intimidate their critics.

That could have a chilling effect on speech. Policing this content at a global scale is an open research problem since it is hard for machines to understand the cultural nuances of political intimidation.

Addendum A:

And while we are hiring over 10, more people this year to work on safety and security, this is likely to remain a challenge. People on Facebook tend to represent every walk of life, but not everyone is using their voice equally. Take women.