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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

Social media, not only media it is key to listen, engage and build relationship. Once said by David Alston. Social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flicker, internet websites, and blogs are becoming mainstream attracting a younger more technology savvy voter. There is very less person. social media is now integral part of our daily lives.

Social media is providing platform in different regional language so it may be easy for anyone. Social media has the power to convert fake news into real and real into fake for every incident happening in the country. There are countless advantages and disadvantages attached with social media. Sometime it can expose the real picture in front of society or
suppress one’s truth. Social media today is not only innocent and entertainment
space to connect with friends instead it has metamorphosed into becoming an
influential space for political activity.

E.g. Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, posted a few days ago that the pipe connection to deliver pure drinking water to 1crore families in Uttar Pradesh has been completed.

The message attached with above example is how a politician can easily spread his daily activities within a few minutes by social media account among the public.

Social media have low barriers to entry and offer expanded opportunities for mass political engagement. Various social media platforms are used to persuade the electorate by presenting to them party agendas and manifestos. Social media provide people with platforms where they can access key political information such as upcoming events, party
schedules, and party’s election agendas. Political party also use it to reach peoples and learn about their problems.

E.g. once a young girl Rina posted a picture of broken roads in her area, which made difficult for an ambulance to pass in case of an emergency. Her picture goes viral on social media and reaches the local MP/MLA.A few days later local representative repaired the road and posted it on his social media after completion.

Political parties are becoming tech savvy and realizing that social media is the only way to reach out to the youth. Many politicians have also taken to social media like fish to water. The best examples are Arvind Kejriwal and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.their updates on Facebook and twitter keeps us informed about latest happenings and future plans.

As compared to traditional methods of public opinion measurements, social media allows time and cost effective data collection and analysis with less human efforts. Along with the positive role of social media. there are lot of negative effects from social media. Sometimes news published on social media can be interpreted in the wrong way and thus interpretation of news will misguide the voters. Increased chance of the spreading of fake news
across social media. There are also a large number of ‘trolls’ and news by various
parties to defame individual or political parties.

The issue of regulating social media is a matter that needs to be debated in many countries. The Election commission mentioned that any violations on social media would be processed under the provision of the ‘Representation of people’s Act,1951 and section 126 of the act would be applicable. Prior to the 2014 election, the EC had a made few guidelines to
regulate social media and had made it mandatory for the candidates to authenticate the pages belonging to the party and its candidates.

Thus, political parties utilizing the internet and social media to connect with youth for their agenda and political events because they now know how and where to find them. Observing the 2014 general elections of India, social media was the battleground for various political campaigns and there was a tremendous flow of varied political opinions. The election proved
that there was a great potential to influence the country’s youth over social media.

In spite of having many legal provisions, more offences are being repeated by political parties, candidates and party workers on social media platform because of weal laws more financial resources. Hence awareness to be created and stringent laws need to be drafted for the safety of citizens. Social media is a good weapon which becomes hazardous when
handled by a bad master.


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