Describe an example where a government or corporation has used the media to manipulate public opinion to back their agenda/interests. Make sure to include research.
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There are some countries in the world which have used social media to stimulate lies and misrepresentation. They include Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, China and many others (Hern, 2017). The propagandas are brought about by governments or corporations. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are portions of the general system of power. Consequently, governments can use social media to their advantage against an opposition party before an upcoming general election.
Russia’s government was a good example where it used twitter to its favor. This was during the elections of 2011-2012 (Spaiser et al, 2017). Putin who is the current president wanted to vie for another term a few years ago. The social media of that time had pro-Putin and anti-Putin twitter users. In twitter atmosphere, the opposition side had a great number of supporters. Afterwards, pro-Putin followers defeated in number those against Putin. Unexpectedly, pro-Putin supporters deteriorated in political deployment (Spaiser et al, 2017). Hence, the shifted approval of government and a sudden decline of opposition party is what brought curiosity.
The Pro-Putin followers had victory over their opponents because of some reasons. The first one, they made anti-Putin supporters doubt themselves by giving different opinions (Spaiser et al, 2017). This debilitated the oppositional expression on twitter. Besides, this led the opponent side to be silent. They no longer participated in twitter because of being the minority. Equally, the opponents were being accused of questioning their leaders. This made them very upset because they were not given the freedom to express themselves.
The last reason was that the government got aid from staunch supporters of Putin. The system was able to influence dialogues on twitter for their own benefit (Spaiser et al, 2017). This meant political leaders who had money were on the winning side compared to poor upcoming politicians. In addition, popular leaders were able to influence the opponent side because of their power.
Hern, A. (2017). Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/19/social-media-proganda-manipulating-public-opinion-bots-accounts-facebook-twitter.
Spaiser, V., Chadefaux, T., Donnay, K., Russmann, F., & Helbing, D. (2017). Communication power struggles on social media: A case study of the 2011–12 Russian protests. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19331681.2017.1308288.
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