Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016 Election and Social Media

The Blaming Game

Jacob Solether

Social Media's Influence

In the months leading up to the election, millions of Americans looked to Facebook and Twitter for news and information about both presidential candidates. According to a survey by PEW Research Center, more than 62% of American adults get news from social media. With an extremely high amount of false information being released by unreliable sources, it had steered many Americans into believing in falsehoods. A widespread release of false information on social media also caused a lot of people to grow confused on what the difference between truthful news and propaganda is. This trend led to millions of Americans living in echo chambers, which means the information people were reading on social media was only reinforcing their beliefs, and not educating them on the actual policies of the presidential candidates. 

Who's To Blame?

Following the results of the 2016 presidential election, a blaming game broke out among Americans. At first, people didn't know who was at fault for Trump winning the election, so many people accused white supremacists for voting for him, as well as blamed millennials- who overwhelmingly opted not to vote. A week has passed since election day, and people are beginning to realize how much social media's influence changed the outcome of the election. Following the release of the PEW survey, Chief Executive, Mr. Zuckerberg, posted a statement on Facebook saying, "of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes." This isn't surprising because Zuckerberg has been known to defend Facebook, and has said in the past that it is a platform for people to express their views, experiences and ideals. It is true that social media offers a platform for people to express themselves, but when agencies release false information that misleads the public, who is to blame? ...The people or social media? And what do we now? John Oliver explains. 

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