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Social media has revolutionized over the past years, and the rate at which it influences humanity is boundless (Karakas, 2009). Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms have been influential in creating a global village. With data a core aspect of social networking in an age of uncertainty, everyone can access and express their opinions on any platform and can instantly connect with thousands if not millions of people. The comfort zone, we all seek to have in our daily lives is spoon fed to us so that we get blinded by the negativity associated with the internet (Matthews, 2010).
Political radicalization began the moment social media platforms came up (Shirky, 2011). The network inhabitants available to billions has become a fact of life. Many activists, telecommunication companies, government and non-governmental organizations have used social media to appeal to the citizens’ interest without infringing any of their interests.
Bloggers daily posts, readers and their comments on weblogs are significant in addressing debates on international development. Research done by Driscoll and Gregg in 2010 gave a deeper understanding and appreciation of online compassionate cultural lessons. Browne did an analysis that identified some bloggers and received written feedback that proved social media as channels aimed at enrollment which gives an advantage to owning a blog (Denskus, 2013). A post on Facebook has received great responses. People across the globe showed interest in joining the event as others applauded Artpusher for initiating the Facebook event “Last night in Sweden Memorial.”
The public attitude to organize a massive and swift response to any controversy is a marvel. The Filipino protest during the impeachment of their President attracted a mass of millions of angry citizens. Choking traffic in Manila in the year 2001, Filipino citizens vented their anger towards Congress for concealing information. The protest organized through the forwarding of text messages, and you wonder, if just a simple text message achieved them their freedom, just imagine what it could do to your cries (Shirky, 2011). Artpusher organized an ironic memorial at Sweden’s Embassy in Copenhagen to honor the victims of a nonexistent incident. This event could be seen as a ‘tongue in cheek’ protest which rallied over 1200 people to respond in order to attend. A greater number of people online showed interest in the event. President Trumps’ suggestion on a security incident occurrence in Sweden is what has among other tweets and comments from him further escalated the public interest in fake news.
President Trump, an avid poster on Twitter now dubbed the “Twitter” president because of his many posts on political and non-political subjects is deeply involved with ‘fake media’ (anything that criticizes him) and alternative facts which subsequently led to the case of the Facebook organized event known as “Pray for Sweden.” Ethically we have to ask ourselves, is this what we want from the leader of the free world? Do the American people and indeed the global community deserve the truth when it comes to politicians in power or from stories that affect millions of people globally? Or is an alternative truth far more interesting?
- Denskus, T. and Papan, A. (2013). Reflexive engagements: the international development blogging evolution and its challenges. Development in Practice, 23: 435-447.
- Driscoll, C. and Gregg, M. (2010). My profile: The ethics of virtual ethnography. Emotion, Space and Society, 3(1): 15-20.
- Karakas, F. (2009). Welcome to World 2.0: the new digital ecosystem. Journal of Business Strategy, 30(4): 23-30.
- Matthews, L. (2010). Social media and the evolution of corporate communications. The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 1(1): 17-23.
- Shirky, C. (2011). The political power of social media: Technology, the public sphere, and political change. Foreign affairs, 90(1): 28-41.