Essay Example: Facebook and the Regulations in Politics

Published: 2022-04-07 20:52:05
Essay Example: Facebook and the Regulations in Politics
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Politics Facebook
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1866 words
16 min read
143 views

Communication is an important tool in any kind of social, economic and political set up. The advancement in technology has made the world a global village because of the ease with which businesses operate in the borderless environment. Facebook and other social media platforms equally has immensely contributed to the speed with which people share political contents, videos and other kinds of opinion or the political updates just at the touch of a button globally with instant viewership. Due to this, the platform has really transformed the politics across the world hence a greater impact on the democratic process. However, with the ever increasing usage and access, there is evidently genuine concern to tighten and impose serious regulation to protect the platform and the users because of the negative effects it has meted in politics. The discussion therefore will focus on the negative effects of Facebook and other social areas in politics, description on how it has affected the users and the democratic process to emphasize on the need to strengthen the regulation requirements currently governing these sites. Some of the negative effects include but not limited to: increasing cases of fake news, hate mongering, divisive politics, cyberbullying, invasion of privacy and cyber stalking.

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To begin with, cases of fake news has increasingly been on the rise due to the ease with which people access and post on Facebook and other social areas. The difficulty in authenticating sources of the information posted on the social media has really mislead a huge number making them consume the wrong information hence risks of making bad decision. The many cases of fake accounts created especially during electioneering periods to promote and sell the agenda of various politicians has made the electorates elect bad leaders. This is because the news and the articles are intentionally generated and tailored for political gains. According to the study from Stanford University, fake news likely played a crucial role in the election of President Trump. The fake news articles and stories posted and shared in Donald Trump favor were close to 7.6million times which translated into 760 million instances where a user clicking through and reading a fake news story. This is a clear scenario where fake news greatly played a partisan role and made Trump win the elections. Therefore, strict regulations need to be enforced to protect the users like giving new tools to help assess the origin and verify the news stories read online. A thorough investigation should be launched by the administrators of Facebook and Twitter to understand the motives behind spreading around elections and important political debates because clearly fake news is a real threat to democratic process.

CYBERBULLYING

The use of internet has increasingly exposed users to various forms of cyberbullying like harassment, intimidation through posts on users' walls or sent direct to their inboxes which at times can be compromising, embarrassing pictures and videos and to the extremes has led to the malicious assassination of politicians and fear of the unknowns to their families. Some of the recent cases are the recent resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz following suspected Russian hacking which stole over 19000 private emails from the Democratic National Committee revealing the parties backroom political games, this was an embarrassment to the party and a wakeup call for Australia Government to act and advance to prevent the country from such threats in the future.

Another case was on May, 2017 during the presidential campaigns when France's computer systems were hacked taking crucial data from Emmanuel Macron's campaign leaking it to public, Russia was linked to that cyber-attack.

The cyber-attack on UK parliament which led to the leakage of crucial data from the Parliamentarians email accounts and another one being the WannaCry ransomware attack in May previous year that affected hospitals was the most serious one however no life was lost, it was blamed on the North Korea.

The above examples is a clear indicator that cyberbullying is a common threat and the various attacks is a show that the vice cannot be fully controlled, it has proved to be difficult for countries to be tamper proof from attacks. Though various legislation are being passed to protect users, a lot need to be done especially in terms of policy enforcement. Facebook and other social areas need to tighten the site policies to cover elements of cyberbullying, it is incumbent upon them to continuously revise the terms and conditions to build the users confidence on assured security. It is also important to note that politics is an emotive subject and therefore the sites need to be redesigned in such a way that it automatically detects and reports posts that can be a threat to the viewers. The profile also need to be upgraded such that it identifies the user's bio-data and if possible the next of kin to be enjoined to make it easy trace the culprits.

Efficient administration of the relevant regulations governing these platforms basically from the forgoing requires a collaborative approach both from the Government and the administrators of these platforms based on the mutual consent to make it easy to detect, report and prosecute the perpetrators of the vice. The government plays a crucial role in policy making, policy implementation and enforcement the regulations so the burden of responsibility for them to cooperate to also assist in the prosecution process.

PRIVACY ISSUES

The ever increasing number of personal information accessible on the Facebook pages such as updates on the user's plans for trips, holidays and the unlimited number of status updates has made it easy for other users with ill-motives to monitor the movements and recent plans of Politicians hence making them easy targets for attacks by their opponents. Information such as phone numbers, home addresses makes their families vulnerable to physical assaults and harassment. There has also been cases of intrusion into users account without their consents, which has resulted into leakage of private data into the public domain. Complains of corrupted passwords affecting owners privacy has made the electorates change their perspective and the respect they bestow upon their leaders worst cases being politicians losing their seats because ones the damage has occurred it normally forms the basis for insults and personal attacks from the competitors Its a common knowledge that publicity plays a crucial role for politicians especially during and after the elections because it forms the basis on which leaders are evaluated for various leadership posts.

THE ISSUE OF HATE SPEECH

Hate speech has been a concern over the years and many cases being reported during political campaigns, Facebook owing to its massive followers has been the platform where such speeches, text and photos are shared online. The messages are always emotive with regards to the attacks on the specific person, groups of people, quite demeaning on a particular race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or disability. The effects being a polarized divided nation volatile to civil unrest hence a threat to the democratic process. The vice has always been common with political affiliates in an attempt to share their disenfranchisement on particular issues or policies initiated by governments aimed at developing a particular region. Some of the recent cases around the world being;

The US president Donald Trump's speeches and tweets has been seen as quite divisive an extremely explosive. The president recently was outrageously criticized with his comments on immigration and I quote, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? "While referring to immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and the African continent. What followed was ballistic response from various leaders, people across the world who took to their twitter handles and Facebook pages, political forums condemning the president including members from his own Republican party demanding that he withdraws the comments and apologize to the American people and the whole world because his comments were not only demeaning but also demoralizing and disrespectful to the human race.

The ever xenophobic attacks experienced in South Africa are partly being viewed as political. When you analyze some of the statements made by ANC leaders its indicative that they are against the immigrants in their country and base the predicaments they are currently facing to the ever increasing foreigners.Politicans are by default influential and their statements are always taken seriously by their followers and unless this is not controlled, physical assaults, lawlessness of a country is inevitable.

The above cases are just but a few, there are many instances where insulting, disrespectful remarks have elicited various emotions, Facebook and other social area sites has always been blamed for their inability to prevent such messages, videos from leaking to the public.

Hate speech is a serious concern and inasmuch we enjoy the freedom of expression through speech, many have been misinformed, many have consumed fabricated information, the many causes of violence and mysterious deaths especially during campaigns are entirely blamed on what has been shared on this platforms. It has divided people on the basis of ethnic origin consequently affecting the voting patterns and behaviors with leaders being elected based on their ethnic affiliation without looking at the integrity of such people and the track records, this is evident in the recycling of non performing leaders back to the office further affecting development of many regions.

Issues of third party advertisement

Facebook and other social areas have been celebrated for marketing and social networking. It has really influenced and change the politics of nations. The ever increasing Facebook political forums and pages has shaped how politicians campaign, interact with the electorates, share their agenda and responding to various issues raised. Cases where members deliberately share unnecessary ads onto this sites through links or photos has led to the posting of various products by third parties and the serious cases being sharing of explicit photos, pictures and new stories which in most cases have exposed the private life of some politicansThere has been several cases where complains have been reported related to the hacking of one's password and maliciously exposing users. Currently in Kenya, the members of parliament have been complaining of receiving explicit photos and the purveyors' of such acts in most case have been demanding huge sum of money of which some members have been a victim. The bone of contention has been how immune and secure are users from such kind of acts. Despite the law being clear on unlawful access, it has always been difficult to arrest and prosecute the culprits of such acts because of the loopholes that exist on the part of administrators and the procedure involved.Eventhough third parties in most cases benefit from the viewership, the challenge has always been instances where explicit pictures and photos are leaked into this forums. The successful and attempted access is a clear indication that these sites need more regulation requirements in order to prevent and protect users from intruders. Ads that pop up on these sites can be quite misleading and at the sometime worrying especially during campaigns when expectations are high from the politicians to convince the electorates tom vote in their favor therefore this sites absolutely require regulations to prevent such from happening otherwise a risk to the democratic process.

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