Home > Uncategorized > Blog 10: Online Politics

Blog 10: Online Politics

The primary difference in communication online and in real life is the ability of filter out material.  While in face to face communication most people adhere to social norms, we become our biggest filters in the online realm.  Republic.com refers to this idea of filtering media content online as the daily me. People are able to go online and search strictly for news that they wish to view.  The book goes on to explain that while personalized news can be a good thing seeing as people will be more interested in news catered towards their thoughts, it also destroys democracy because there is no opposing viewpoints to be taken into consideration. When like-thinking people are put together (or a person would only consume news of their liking) previous viewpoints become stronger as a product of groupthink.  A perfect example of this type of groupthink was the rumor that Barrack Obama is a Muslim/terrorist.  Where this rumor started is still a mystery, but the reason it took off so much was due to the internet.  People apposed to Obama and the Democratic party would be more likely to believe this because they have a previous dislike towards the president.

Today, Google.com returns over 18,000,000 results for the search “Obama is Muslim.”

While I do believe that viewing only personalized media online can be a very bad thing, it also in some cases makes for more informed citizens, even though they may not be democratic.  To expand upon that idea I will use the example of a person who is very interested in Roy Blunt.  This person only follows Roy Blunt’s campaign and only reads news articles online that portray Blunt in a positive manner.  Over the past year this person has become more entrench in his/her thoughts about Blunt.  While this person may be blind to other politics in Missouri and around the country, they are most certainly informed about their own candidate.  This is as opposed to a person who would simply avoid any type of political information all together, whether it be online or in real life.  I understand that it is our responsibility as democratic citizens to consume a wide variety of news sources, but in reality, or online, this does not happen.  I think that by being involved in politics online, though it may cause groupthink, still improves upon the democratic process in our country because not only are people learning more about politics that they are interested in, but they also have the ability to share there own views on politics.

Kinda of like what we do in this class every time we write a new blog!  The internet is not destroying democracy, the people are.

 

Much like —->

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