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In todays society, we have the world at our finger tips. Any question you have unanswered can be plugged into a search a bar and millions of results will assimilate. From making dinner to making reservations, technology has a way of making modern life easier. However, the relationship between social media and the news has been a widespread topic of conversation in recent times. Social media has been said to have a major impact on the public discourse and communication in society today.
With so many sources out there to obtain your information from,it is hard to not be tainted by the propaganda from the different social media outlets. Twitter, a media source that simply asks “what’s on your mind?” allowing for two hundred and eighty characters devoted to nothing more than what ever thought may cross your mind, it is almost too easy to enter the cyber world with nearly no consequences or accountability. Facebook, the world’s largest social media outlet with more than 1.
8 billinon monthly active users, constantly runs political ads and informative insights. Even a social site dedicated to nothing but pictures has a way of feeding the political opinions of others to the world. In this essay, I will be dissecting the adverse reactions of the political division led by social media in America today.
Historically speaking, the political divide has existed sturdily since the founding of our nation. A clear majority of the issues revolves around difference in perspectives mainly focusing on how to solve the problems.
It seems people on each side of the line see so differently they can’t even agree on the reality of the problems themselves. Only causing the division to deepen and strengthen. One hefty example of this type of problem is the issue of climate change, many Americans not even admitting to the possibility. With some trusted media outlets presenting this issue as a man-made fast rising problem needing to be addressed immediately, yet other sources calming that climate change is pure nonsense that has nothing to do with human activities. If we were to trust the latter outlets, the debate would become obsolete. Yet If we all trusted the former sources, then the debate would revolve around the different standpoints on the supreme way to address the subject, rather than the current state of the conflict. This phenomenon can be seen in an assortment of political topics and is exaggerated greatly by the diversity of information available thru social media outlets.
For years now social media has shown a steady and hasty growth of user counts. As previously stated Facebook has over 800 million subscribers worldwide as followed by twitter with more than 200 million accounts in total as of 2011. The process in which users discover, establish, and synchronize groups of persons with similar interests, the number and nature of information and news sources available, and the ability to petition and share opinions and notions across various topics have all endured dramatic change with the rise of social media. Although there is a large amount of data available, the consequent issue is to have the ability to analyze the vast amount of user-made content and often unspoken links amongst users in order to expand meaningful insights into the diffusion of information based solely on opinions and sentiments as well as focusing on trend based issues. Per Zeng et al. “social media analytics is concerned with developing and evaluation informatics tools and frameworks to collect, monitor, analyze, summarize, and visualize social media data usually driven by specific requirements from a target application.” Human based computing with their own unique focus on social interactions among semantic inconsistency’s and inaccuracy. Misinformation as well as lack of structure is the nature in which social medias data provides propaganda. Diversity of information available on social media only fuels the diversity in this nation.
Now that more companies and publications can easily share their own coverage on the Internet, there is no requirement to be unbiased in reporting news or even accurate. The “fake news” problem leads to the spread of fabrication plus misinformation and has contributed to the deepening partisan divide in America. This has become difficult to not only allow for resolution of issues but to even allow for an effective debate. This has allowed for a detriment to political and social development. The Schneider text discusses the fact that negative coverage of politics has contributed to a great surge of people reporting an absence of conviction in their government.
This has consequences, such as lower voter turnout due to a cynical attitude towards the entire system that is democracy. The internet has become our dominant media source although it may be nontraditional most Americans now grab their screens to catch up on the main world news now as opposed to reaching for the paper or even turning on a news channel. We have fast and short bit news feeds that have basically completely replaced the traditional news sources. The future in this issue is frightful to say the least, we as a country are so grappled with a complex and dangerous problem of what will happen when our government stops trusting the media as an entirety. As well as what happens when the media completely stops trusting the government. Even the current POTUS has undoubtedly and directly condemned certain news media outlets mentioning to it as “fake news”.
While it is sensible to think critically about the media and identify the biased reporting, anyone can see that it is a big problem when citizens disagree on what is a lie and what is the truth. The freedom and quick spread nature of information on social media comes with many concerns. This is a problem that is essential to solve if we want to make any kind of progression in our nation. Social media also tends to both play into and encourage the desire for instant gratification, and many people do not learn in depth about the news via social media. Social media also tends to both play into and encourage the desire for instant gratification, and many people do not learn in depth about the news via social media. Statistics show that people spend less time on, read less pages from, and visit news sites less often when referred through Facebook as opposed to directly visiting the news site per Anderson and Caumount.
This stemming the question of, will social media develop our divisions even more? This research has truly only scratch the surface of what is currently happening in our country. We cannot predict how the situation will change in the future.
Given the growing significance of social media, many social media analytics tools have been developed for commercial use. However, little is known about the adopted working methods. The proposed outline might help device developers as well as investigators to systematically identify and implement suitable methods for speciﬁc issues of analysis and research questions, correspondingly. For each of the most applicable analysis methods proposed in the outline, there exist already many tools. Many of them provide programing boundaries to assimilate functions into custom tools.
To the level we can tell, the information suggests that the degree of ideological separation in digital media remains substantially lower than a considerable amount of the popular discussion. There is no question that Facebook feeds and Twitter networks expose users to less ideologically content than they would see if they erratically sampled from what is offered. This is true for all the reasons we would expect. Individuals connect with those whom are more likely to share their views. These users primarily share content they agree with, algorithmic selection like Facebook’s news feed may enhance the selection and what users actually choose to read is likely to tilt even further toward their own views.
Recent data points released from work conducted at Microsoft Research by Seth Flaxman, Sharad Goel, and Justin Rao. They analyzed the browsing conduct of 1.3 million Internet users in March-May 2013. Their focus on “consumption of news and opinion articles.” Their main objective was to view how “consumption via social media differs from consumption through other channels” as well as how social media affects general patterns of ideological exclusion.
They reach some very outstanding and compelling conclusions. They found that opinion content accessed via social media is indeed considerably more isolated than opinion content accessed via other channels such as television news or structured search engine results. Also, while the opinion content people see through social media is on the whole less diverse, it actually includes “more content from conflicting extremes of the political spectrum” than what they see through others. This is less probable to happen when people are directing to news sites directly.
Finally, the “net effect” on peoples’ news and opinion regimes is ultimately quite insignificant. Opinion content accounts for only a sliver “approximately 6 percent” of total consumption and the ideological separation we see in socially accessed opinion content does not embrace for regular news. Only about 6 percent of news and 10 percent of opinion. We may eventually reach a point where social distribution is a dominant mode of retrieving news and information, but we are not there yet.
One way to understand this is to remember that sharing substantive news articles is just not the main thing people share on social media. Only one out of every three hundred outbound clicks from Facebook is to what Flaxman and co-authors identify as a solid news article.
This study is a significant and exciting contribution, providing the first detailed look at the importance of social media in an overall news consumption landscape. To the extent that these users tended to be older or less inclined to adopt new technologies, the findings might understate the importance of social media for the American population.
That being said, according to my research random selection is not the right way to go either. Prior to social media such as Facebook and twitter even existing people obtained news from direct navigation to their websites or search engines. Content shared through email or from traditional media outlets such as newspapers or television news networks, as well as by talking to their groups of people and acquaintances. Discriminatory exposure is strong in all of these networks. The indications I have concluded proposes it may be stronger in social media than in some alternatives such as directly access news and weaker than in others face-to-face relationships. Either way, the extent of the differences may be slighter than sometimes supposed.
More importantly, content facilitated through social media probably remains a small part of most users’ news regimes. Traditional media sources are still the most important by far, and within the digital dominion direct navigation still trumps social media outlets. One day we may get all our news through Facebook and other social media outlets. Its investors apparently, anticipation, our advertising, online purchases, movies, video games, and college courses. If this situation does occur, the repercussions our country faces regarding our democracy could be profound.
American politics offers plenty of pressing problems that exist right now in 2016. Thankfully, it would seem a dramatic increase in polarization driven by social media can be removed from the list.
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