Should Politicians Really be Using Social Media so Often?
By: Liz Valls
Photo by: alansimpsonMe
Social media has been around for years and is continuously growing. Some of the most popular platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become more political as it's easier to express your beliefs with others. Politicians are some of the most well known when it comes to expressing your opinions through social media. Although it's necessary to get the word out and spread their campaign message, some politicians show immature behaviors on these platforms. So the question is, should politicians really be using social media as much as they do?
Some of you have probably been on Twitter scrolling to see what your favorite celebrities are up to. When looking at the trending page, it's usually political. Politicians get accused of starting fights and the bickering goes on for hours or even days. For starters, a politician will post a message and their followers will agree or “retweet” and the opposing will disagree and make foul statements. President Donald Trump used social media, especially Twitter, as a way to spread his propaganda but went to extremes to try to manipulate U.S. citizens as he spread false information and dragged in numerous other political figures into it whether it be people that supported him or those of the Democratic party. Trump has posted numerous tweets in the past with false information. The numbers of these tweets grew as the election results were not what he wanted.
The split in this nation has grown larger and larger in the past four years and if someone from another political party says something there is an automatic backlash. Fake news and conspiracy theories have been flooding the internet through Donald Trump’s term. Mr. Trump was also a part of the fake news outbreak. Trump had continuously tweeted misleading information and his followers still blindly followed him. An example of this can be this tweet after it was announced that Joe Biden had won the 2020 presidential election, “I won this election by a lot” Trump stated. It had gotten 191k retweets and 1.2 million likes and was quickly populating all social media platforms.
The capitol riots is another example of misleading information. Again, Trump was tweeting nonstop about the democrats trying “to steal the election.” This led to a Facebook group called ‘Stop The Steal’ being formed with over 300,000 members. The violence at the capitol was due to this misleading information that Trump supporters took close to heart. After the riots had taken place Donald Trump’s Twitter account was officially banned due to the risk of enticing more violence. This goes to show that once people have a large following they can say whatever they want and even manipulate a large group of people.
Aside from the president acting immature over social media, other politicians, such as senators, can be tied up in the drama. A virtual fight broke out between Senator Ted Cruz and actor Seth Rogan days ago. The chain started off with Cruz talking about Fantasia and how it was the first movie that he has watched in theatres. I’m not sure why that's important to tell or why you would want to know that about a senator. Seth Rogan was quick to say, “Everyone who made that film would hate you”. Instead of leaving this comment alone as a professional person should, Cruz struck back saying “They’re all dead. So I think we’re good. And Walt Disney was a Republican. Even though you behave online like a Marxist with Tourette’s (screaming “F U! F U!” is really, really clever), your movies are typically pretty funny. I’m sure you hate that I enjoy them.” Seth Rogan quickly called him a “fascist” and Ted Cruz ended the argument with calling Rogan a moron. You’re probably thinking to yourself, why is this important? It’s not. These meaningless fights between people and politicians are taking people away from important issues such as climate change, our country, etc. It doesn’t give you much hope when people that are running your country are acting like children behind their screens.
I definitely think that politicians should use social media to reach out to the younger crowds and inform them what's going on, but there should be limits on what these people post. We don't want people to become brainwashed after they have heard misleading information that will cause harm to people in the long run.