The Role Of Social Media On Democratic Processes Essay

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The Role of Social Media in Enhancing Democratic Processes.

There are several roles social media can play that bring positive impacts to democratic processes. First, within the context of authoritarian regime, social media benefits ‘politically marginalized groups’ (Loader & Mercea, p. 765) to enforce democratization. It is important to be noted that internet does not only serve as a ‘medium’, but also ‘space’ (Papacharissi, 2010, p. 113). When authoritarian regime does not provide space for its people to actively participate in politics, social media can be an alternative space where activists discuss and manage their democracy movement.

The most obvious example of this might be Arab Spring event where social media played important role as ‘tool of mobilization, communication and coordination as well as instrument of domestic and international revolutionary contagion’ (Tudoroiu, 2014, p. 346). Encouraged by the death of a fruit and vegetable seller in Tunisia, protesters from various Arab countries including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, expressed their concerns through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. These online activities did not only mobilize the Arab people to participate in huge demonstrations in the streets but also drew attention and support from all over the world (Shah, 2011). André Jansson (in Lövheim et. al, 2013, p. 31) refers this as the ability of social media to ‘influence political processes both at the local and the national,…

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