Rising Influence of Social Media in Politics
We’ve noted that many people do not consume their news from traditional media sources. Instead, they are getting their content from new media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It’s important to note that social media usage has an influence on decision-making.
Today, I’ve discovered that there are two types of social media agents. One, real humans and what is called social media bots. The latter is computer algorithms which are employed by content makers to produce automated content.
Researchers have identified a difference between the two agents. That is, social media accounts managed by real human beings are mostly active between 6am and 6 pm. They reduce their intensity in the rest of the time.
On the other hand, there is no clear pattern of operation for the social media bots. As expected. I guess because they do not have a sense of time.
Social media affects public opinions since it starts by creating a sense of public consensus. Bots have been used in influencing important global events such as the 2016 United States elections and the British Exit from the European Union (Brexit).
Researchers have proposed that policy makers should consider preventing abuse of bots. While keeping that in mind, it should be noted that regulating information flow is a delicate balance in a democracy. This is a system where there are diverse views and democracy calls for tolerance of these diversity.
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