Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
4) The concept of social media democracy is a myth because of its unequal architecture. Comment.(250 words)
Why this question
Recently Indian Parliamentary forum has summoned Twitter CEO and in the recent past Facebook CEO was summoned by the US parliament. In this context it is important to discuss the democratization of social media and the myth of digital democracy.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deep into the issue of digital democracy and the efforts to democratize the social media and bring out why the same is a myth because of the unequal digital architecture.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the recent attempts of the world to democratize social media.
- Discuss what do you understand by democratization of social media. E.g creating social media as an institution of political activism and participation; giving political voice to the social media users; providing information and initiating dialogue/ discussion among social media users around a policy/ welfare measure etc.
- Discuss why social media democracy is a myth. E.g
- We tend to presume that the internet is an inherently equalising space, but why do some voices get amplified, while others remain unheard
- When anonymous private entities with high capital can pay for more space for their opinions, they are effectively buying a louder voice.
- Not every voice on the internet commands the same kind of audience. If political discourse in the digital sphere is a matter of out-shouting one’s opponent till an election is won, then the quality of politics suffers.
- Voices from the grass roots do not have the volume to compete with the kind of resources that larger political parties can employ for mobilising the vote bank.
- We can scrutinise expenditure of political parties on social media, but can we scrutinise the money spent by individuals at the behest of political parties? These nebulous connections within the architecture of social media platforms have enabled political parties to meet the dual goals of profitability and popularity etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.