Social media had been growing and took power as a means to control different conceptions of nature. Where social network lacks democracy and takes the power of means in humans. The term power occurs when an event affects a subject significantly (Ouellette, Gray, 2017, p.192). In which social media platforms had taken control of what we receive and what we share. For example, like TikTok videos, we follow the trend and do what is viral but do not really understand the meaning of why are we doing it. Posting on social media is easy with just one button and our thoughts or interest would be shared through the internet. Even searching for our interest is easy with just a few clicks and we would find what we want and similar feeds or posts would be shown through advertisement and or even on our main page anywhere. Where social media platforms lack democracy and take control in receiving and delivering information.
There are many users that aim for news and feed on social media daily and it allows fake news or one side of the news to be received. Social media platforms allow for the widespread dissemination of false, divisive, and often destructive information (Olaniran & Williams, 2020). Where readers read one side of the news. For example, paid spammers, celebrity rumours and even Covid-19 as well. The fake news allows comfort, however, promotes propaganda and hides the reality of what is occurring in society by showing what readers want to see. Research had stated that about two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news from social media (Shearer & Gottfried, 2017). This means two-thirds of Americans get at least some news from social platforms that are highly curated and personalized black-box algorithms.
Pieces of information are easily assessable and beliefs are made by readers no matter if it’s positive or negative. Those who get their news from social media are more likely to believe falsehoods about Covid-19 (Escalante, 2021). As mentioned above, with the fake news comforting the readers, it creates a belief. Readers would share empathy and believe in the news as they receive comfort from it. Also, with TikTok trends, once a hashtag or a dance goes viral, it brings interest to people to follow. “Joining a trending TikTok challenge means that you don’t even have to think up original content ideas; you can just add your version of the latest dance, lip-sync or prank and ride the trend” (Rutledge, 2021). Showing that it is easy to follow the trend without knowing its meaning or possible effects of it. While trends are being made, beliefs are created where they think that they have to follow it and take that video in order to catch up with the latest trend lacking the democracy in thinking that we don’t really need to do all the pranks or challenges on the other hand.
Social media platforms hold filter bubbles, where platforms are able to feed users content of their interest with the data and searches from the users. Social media’s bubble filter is used by gathering data that we, the users, provide willingly or unknowingly, in order to enable the giants to control or manipulate the price of advertising and to even go as far as publishing their own ads or narrative if they wish (Gould, 2019). Which is capitalism as it is controlled by an owner or leader for profit. Even though users do contain the freedom in searching for what they are looking for and also be able to view the content, however, the internet then would receive the information and show the user interest post on the main page. “The reality is that all platforms now constantly feed us content that aligns with our own interests, friends and belief systems. They are able to take what we browse or post about and feed us back our own thoughts gathered from other social media followers as though we have hundreds and thousands of friends feeling the same way,” says Strohman (Gould, 2019). Whereas, the platforms promote a biased event as we are only viewing what we are interested in as the interactions are one-sided. This allows less democracy as the platform is showing unitary pieces of information to the users.
In conclusion, Social media has become a huge thing in society nowadays and most people go on different platforms daily. The platforms were used as it was more accessible in receiving news or articles of our interest. However, due to the bubble filters and profit purposes, it had taken control of what we see and view leading to the lack of democracy as it is controlled by the owners or leaders for profit purposes. Social media is huge, misinformation spreads faster than nice positive news. Even if it does contain democracy in providing a platform for the freedom of speech, where anyone can post anything as it is easy to spread the information out; the question is “why is social media more capitalist instead of democratic as the time passes?” Well while issues are still being brought up, it brings back that in the end, it is our view or our choice in choosing what information to take in or not.
Escalante, A. (2021, December 10). Research finds social media users are more likely to believe fake news. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisonescalante/2020/08/03/research-finds-social-media-users-are-more-likely-to-believe-fake-news/?sh=380263e08657
Gould, W. R. (2019, October 21). Are you in a social media bubble? here’s how to tell. NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/problem-social-media-reinforcement-bubbles-what-you-can-do-about-ncna1063896
Ouellette, L., & Gray, J. (2017). Technology. L. Ouellette, & J. Gray (Eds.), Keywords for media studies (pp. 191-193). New York University Press.
Olaniran, B., & Williams, I. (2020). Social Media Effects: Hijacking Democracy and Civility in Civic Engagement. In Platforms, Protests, and the Challenge of Networked Democracy (pp. 77-94). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Rutledge, D. P. (2021, February 19). Tiktok Challenges & Their Psychological Appeal. Medium. Retrieved from https://pamelarutledge.medium.com/tiktok-challenges-their-psychological-appeal-6dcb0dfd19e4
Shearer, E. , & Gottfried, J. (2017). News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2017/09/07/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2017/