The Huge Influence of Social Media on Politics Today

America goes to the polls to choose a new president this coming year, 2020. There is already a lot to do about the elections. In the midst of busy preparation for the next presidential election, there’s also a tension in social networks because of the major role that social media plays in this struggle.

How Social Media Platforms Handle Political Advertisements | NBC News Now

The discussion about politics and social media flares up again. It is already made clear on Netflix in the documentary The Big Hack. Ads and other political posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter appear to have a huge influence on the conduct of elections. That this plays a major role in both elections on a small island and the most powerful country in the world, is clear from the discussions that flare up this year about the role of social media in the political field.

Target group-oriented

Once a TV commercial has been made, you cannot say that you will change anything about it an hour before it appears on TV. On social media, you can edit a post a minute before it goes live. You can also send your message to a much more specific target group, such as a certain age class or location. Or just to people in a certain group on Facebook.

When Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton in 2016, $ 8 million was spent on Facebook ads only. That this will only become more next year is already proven by the candidates who are eager to participate. They have already spent more than $ 63 million on Facebook marketing. Trump’s team recently went wrong with it.

In a Facebook advertisement on Facebook, it was said at the beginning of October that Joe Biden had paid a couple of Ukrainian high peaks a billion Dollars to drop a lawsuit against his son Hunter. That turned out to be fake news. Fake news that had already been viewed by four million people. It was added that when a politician creates an advertisement, it is not sent to independent fact-checkers.

A considerable load of criticism followed this reaction because Facebook does have the rest of all posts checked by third parties for facts. Facebook always wants to remain neutral and open to everyone and so as with Instagram that requires information about the sponsor of the ad. And while political campaigns are heavily investing in social media campaigns, there are third party strategies that can boost the post of a political account such as the woogram (krijg meer volgers op Instagram). As a result, it believes that it is not yet necessary to determine which content may or may not pass through the bracket.

Twitter Is Banning All Political Ads

Twitter has a solution for the problem and that is not about fact-checking, but about banning political ads as a whole. Twitter seems to be heading for the prohibition of both.

A remarkable decision by Twitter, which has proven to be extremely functional in several revolts. In addition, Shell will be allowed to continue to say what they are doing and that it is good, while environmental groups are not allowed to object to this in their own advertisement on Twitter. At least that was the idea until Twitter nevertheless started to collapse under pressure. Recently, Twitter has announced that it will only be advertisements that really exclude elections, candidates, political parties and other clearly political content.

Advertisements for more general issues, which moreover do not come from politicians or political parties, do get restrictions but no prohibitions. For example, you may not approach a specific group, because it also remains more general in the target group. In addition, many people, including Democrats, believe it is dangerous to adjust the rules halfway. As a result, all resources must suddenly be reviewed in the middle of the battle.

Can one do well?

Yet it appears only from the reactions that social media are entering a political minefield in which every new step can be fatal. Now we see that not happening so quickly, but the discussion and emotion around freedom of expression and press freedom on the one hand and the safety of people and of course money on the other flares up. So high that there is really no way for social media to do well.