Social Media e Politica
I social media diventano luoghi pubblichi virtuali in cui le persone possono incontrare e condividere le proprie idee e partecipare attivamente alla sfera politica. Il problema è che invece i contenuti manipolati o disinformati raggiungeranno un vasto pubblico in modi diversi.
Le piattaforme digitali permittono ad un gamma più ampia di prospettive l’organizzazione dei protesti e delle campagne politiche.
Social Media as a Tool of Communication
One of the key features of social media is their ability to connect politicians with a large and diverse audience. Often, these platforms are used by politicians to share their ideas and programs with the public, as well as to communicate with their constituents about important political issues. This direct access allows politicians to influence public opinion, get elected officials to pay attention to an issue, and have a greater impact on policy decisions.
In addition, social media can help people organize and participate in political movements and campaigns online. Social media can also facilitate a democratic dialogue on complex policy issues by allowing a wide range of views to be heard.
However, the use of social media for political purposes can also have negative effects. To mitigate these negative impacts, it is important to promote an environment of vigilance and awareness through the efforts of researchers, social media platforms, and utenti. This will help reduce the spread of misinformation and fake news, as well as prevent the formation of echo chambers that limit a person’s ability to understand different viewpoints.
Social Media as a Tool of Democracy
The freedom to express opinions on political issues is a fundamental component of democracy. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to share information and ideas with a wide audience. However, they also present the possibility of sharing misinformation or polarizing content that can hinder democracy.
Il flusso di informazioni su queste piattaforme consente ad una vasta gamma di voci raggiungere direttamente il pubblico, influenziando su i risultati politici in modi distorti. E’ fondamentale educare il pubblico a sviluppare un pensiero critico e una capacità di valutare le fonti di informazione dei social media.
Nevertheless, the democratizing potential of social media can be undermined by the rise of strong authoritarian regimes that control their own platforms and block those who do not comply. This makes social media a tool for emotional manipulation and further radicalization of conservative views, which can have negative consequences on democratic societies and institutions in the long term.
Social Media as a Tool of Disinformation
The spread of false information or disinformation on social media platforms has serious consequences for the democratic process. It has been linked to the rise of populist nationalism and the resurgence of white nationalist movements around the world, as well as to electoral defeats for traditional politicians in Europe. It has been reported that President Trump’s campaign broke established paradigms of political discourse and was aided by disinformation and fake news on social media (Persily, 2017).
Governments and institutions can play an important role in guaranteeing the responsability of the platforms through a regulation based on scientific evidence that promotes trasparenza, protection of personal data, disclosure of algorithms and a struggle against the improprie use of politico-electoral information. In addition, the use of advanced Artificial Intelligence methods can be used to identify and moderate problematic content, avoiding censura and safeguarding freedom of expression. Involving users in this moderation can also help to reduce the propagation of erroneous or malicious information.
Social Media as a Tool of Hate Speech
The power of hate speech online can have devastating consequences. Even “casual” racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism can contribute to acts of discrimination, incitement, or violence. Unfortunately, mechanisms designed to curb speech are not working as intended.
Technology companies have a responsibility to ensure that their platforms are not being used as spaces for hatred and incitement. While they have made some progress, they are still not doing enough.
The use of artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing can help to identify problematic content, but the technology cannot be a substitute for human moderators who are trained to understand the political context in which they operate. Moreover, platforms need to be more transparent about the algorithms that decide what content users see.