Social Media Has Made The Uk Less Democratic Uni Essay

2318 words - 10 pages

The rise of social media has made UK politics less, not more, democratic.
This essay will be talking about social media and how it has risen in the last 25/50 years and the effect this has had on democracy within UK politics. Democracy is ‘a type of political system that involves... citizen participation.’ [McNaughton, 2011]. Another definition of democracy from Andrew Heywood is ‘rule by the people; democracy implies both popular participation and government in the public interest, and can take a wide variety of forms.’ [Heywood, 2014]. Abraham Lincoln once described democracy as a ‘government of the people, by the people for the people.’ [Markus G. Jud, n.d.]. There are two types democracy: direct and representative. Direct democracy is when citizens themselves make decisions rather than elected representatives, for example referendums and petitions. Representative democracy is when elected or/and appointed representatives make the decisions, for example there is elected representatives at every level, and anyone can vote and/or stand for office. There are three other concepts of democracy: liberal, pluralist and parliamentary but these are not as important as direct and representative. Social media, according to Collins dictionary refers to ‘websites and computer programs that make communications possible with the use of computers or mobile phones.’ [Collinsdictionary.com, n.d.]. The main social media sites in 2018 according to DreamGlow are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Qzone, Weibo, Reddit, Pinterest, Ask.FM, Tumblr, Flickr, Google+, LinkedIn, VK, Odnoklassniki, and Meetup. [Kallas, 2018]. This essay will be formatted in a way where it leans on the stance that social media does make politics more democratic but there will be explorations into how social media makes politics less democratic. The main topics that will be discussed are: the rise of social media, digital democracy, fake news, transparency, and younger people being in touch with politics now and finally bringing it all together on how social media makes politics more democratic, finishing with a conclusion.
Social media was created in 1997 and the first known social media website was called six degrees and in 1999 the first ever blogging site was created, and blog sites are very popular these days. [Trends, Now and Hendricks, 2013]. In the early 2000s popular sites like Myspace, bebo and YouTube were created following a few years later with Facebook, and twitter. In 2010, Instagram was created followed a year later by Snapchat. The use of social media is apparent in the 21st century as a high percentage of people in first world countries have smartphones or a laptop/computer where they can access these social media apps/ websites. Social media as described in a politics journal ‘Social media have often been described as the site for conflict between “good” democratic forces who use social media to make their voices heard and “bad” autocratic and repressive forces who...

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