Twitter’s impact in politics!


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Today, we’re living in a new digital age. One wouldn’t doubt to start by emphasizing that technology has influenced our society through its products and processes as well. Therefore, it could be able to influence the quality of life and the ways people act and interact. But at the same time one should add that communication could probably be the leading benefit of digital technology of these days. Giving one of some social media sites like Twitter, it shows how this plays a main role in our day to day lives mostly in politics. Twitter has seen a significant increase in popularity among users comparing with other social networking sites such as YouTube & Facebook and would continue to do so, (Parmless &Bichard, 2013, p.3). Thus, political leaders could more easily spread their message to their followers through Twitter. Positively enough, leaders who frequently retweet followers ‘tweets, this could show publicly that they are quite willing to listen and value their follows’ ideas. As a result, leaders will end up reacting to questions and comments they will have received.

For sure, Twitter has transformed from a technical tool that facilitated personal exchanges into a platform of open exchanges of communication across a wide audience concerning key issues, (Ibid).


Even though, people may follow and interact with only those leaders whom they regularly agree with. From this technological point of view, followers could be able to retweet political leaders’ tweets at the same time leaders can retweet followers’ tweets as well. This fact could allow followers to choose selectively what people to follow. Consequently, this may imply the followed to have a significant amount of influence and effort on their followers, (Ibid, p.6). Admittedly, this type of social media site could be taken as an ideal for political leaders especially for those who want to reach an influential audience, not only that this site can be good and better for engaging and connecting decision makers, (Global Web Index, 2010,p.4). However, Twitter is not made to be used only for political campaigns. For instance, some federal and state agencies use the microblog for many of the same reasons like politicians do. This may be the faster way to transmit information and communicate with interested parties. That is to say, people who do business with government agencies find that Twitter as a quick way to interact with government officials more directly & quickly than before. This could be used to help with tasks such scheduling meetings and seeking to bid on government contracts, (Radick, 2010).


Despite all the good things that Twitter can do, its early success and service has occasionally stopped due to the high volume of tweets. The way, some hackers have been successful in accessing and hijacking Twitter user accounts. For instance in 2009, hackers have been able to send a phony tweet from the account of the former-president of the United States of America, (Tessler, 2010). Despite those setbacks, Twitter has grown rapidly in recent years and has become an indispensable communication tool for companies and brands. More than that, it has attracted an audience which political leaders could find valuable, (Parmless &Bichard, 2013, p.8). Based on this, one would say that the growth of microblogging use such as Twitter has grown considerably as well. This may mean how the rise of the Internet and social media has become a fact of life in today’s organizations involving many actors-regular citizens, activists, telecommunications firms, software providers, governments as well, (Shirky,2010,p.3). In spite of this, authoritarian regimes have long limited communication grids in a way of denying the ability to coordinate in real time and broadcast documentation of event, (Ibid, p.9). Another point of view is that a critique of social media could be portrayed as tools for political improvement namely, especially when the state is gaining increasingly sophisticated and difficult means of monitoring, interdicting, or co-opting these tools, (Ibid, p.8). Still one expert on technology for development at UNICEF blogged how this kind of real time information will help and inform the future of development work’, (Fabian, 2010).


For that reason, someone wouldn’t doubt to say that the potential benefits of social media lies in supporting civil society and the public which will produce significant worldwide effects and change over time, not weeks or months, (Shirky,2010,p.10). However, one research in the digital age reveals that emerging international development policies could continue to be framed ‘offline’, with very limited input provided through social media, (Denskus & Esser, 2013,p.15). Nevertheless, the use of social media in development projects could become a catalysing force for positive change in specific settings, (Schimmelpfennig, 2011) such as global dynamics of how international development is conceived and defined do not seem to be affected by social media to any significant degree.
Oddly enough one will end up with a possible conviction about blogs, how blogs seem to be a guide to debate and have become a public resource for sharing development issues, (Denskus & Papan, 2013, p.8).

One could conclude that blogs are all products from different types of engagement with international development since all blogs are on the internet by definition. This could be seen as interconnected and socially networked, through blogrolls and comments as well, and may be useful to reflect on the multiplicity of approaches to communication for development.

Featured image Courtesy of ICT as a Platform for change 

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