Social Media as an influencer of public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Traditionally, social media was viewed as an online place where people went to socialise, meet new people, make new friends, share news and experiences, be consoled or celebrate in a virtual context. However, due to its increased popularity, social media sites have undertaken additional roles with increasing importance in today’s society. The majority of social media users are young adults (89% of social networking users fall within the 18-29 age bracket) who regularly use this fora to inform their news, political opinion, consumer choices and social engagement. Social media provides opportunity for all to have their presence noted and their say listened to, which forms the basis of democratic society. However, in true democratic terms, sides can have opposing views, resulting in a dearth of opinion. Controversial items can be streamed via social media that otherwise may not see the light of day on mainstream sites, thus the platform can be used to increase exposure to a wider audience. To this end there has been a surge in enterprise involvement, ranging from ecommerce and consumerism, to charity and education, governmental and political bodies and campaign promoters. In forming a consortium there will normally be two sides, those for and those against. In most countries the leading consortium will be the government, formed from political party election or coalition. At election times there will always be winners and losers, the winners take the leadership role while the losing party(ies) will become a pseudo organism whose main function is to undertake criticism of the government, denouncing abuses of power and highlighting irregularities. Both entities will use media to convey their views and political stances, in an attempt to influence others, the latest of which is social media. However, while government can adopt ‘ownership’ of many media conveyors, for example newspapers can be under the remit and/or affiliated to one particular party, social media is an open, uncensored platform for freedom of speech and expression of interest. This has caused much stress and concern for certain governments (deemed left-hand extremists) who seek to censor the oppositions’ voice by means of media control. Some have been successful in media control (i.e. Chinese government and their tight controls over the internet, Venezuelan and Cuban Governments owning and controlling local TV and newspaper media) while others have decided the best approach is to embrace these tools, for example the U.S.A President Barrack Obama who is considered one of the top five people in the world to have a social media presence with more followers on twitter than celebrities such as Britney Spears, Cristiano Ronaldo and Oprey Winfrey to name but a few. Taking these factors into account, questions arise regarding how influential the interactions of individuals/groups are in forming and informing public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact. This paper aims to show, through case studies, how important or influential individuals and groups become in everyday operations/decisions, how public opinion can sway government policy, how lobbying can be achieved online using social media, and how individuals can be effected by social media influence.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Pages313-319
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2014
EventEuropean Conference on Social Media - University of Brighton, UK
Duration: 10 Jul 2014 → …

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Social Media
Period10/07/14 → …

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social media
public policy
newspaper
news
election
political opinion
freedom of opinion
twitter
VIP
follower
government policy
public opinion
popularity
young adult
networking
coalition
opposition
president
criticism
Group

Cite this

@inproceedings{02d5147c1c4c4db39ce6b72c70735edd,
title = "Social Media as an influencer of public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact",
abstract = "Traditionally, social media was viewed as an online place where people went to socialise, meet new people, make new friends, share news and experiences, be consoled or celebrate in a virtual context. However, due to its increased popularity, social media sites have undertaken additional roles with increasing importance in today’s society. The majority of social media users are young adults (89{\%} of social networking users fall within the 18-29 age bracket) who regularly use this fora to inform their news, political opinion, consumer choices and social engagement. Social media provides opportunity for all to have their presence noted and their say listened to, which forms the basis of democratic society. However, in true democratic terms, sides can have opposing views, resulting in a dearth of opinion. Controversial items can be streamed via social media that otherwise may not see the light of day on mainstream sites, thus the platform can be used to increase exposure to a wider audience. To this end there has been a surge in enterprise involvement, ranging from ecommerce and consumerism, to charity and education, governmental and political bodies and campaign promoters. In forming a consortium there will normally be two sides, those for and those against. In most countries the leading consortium will be the government, formed from political party election or coalition. At election times there will always be winners and losers, the winners take the leadership role while the losing party(ies) will become a pseudo organism whose main function is to undertake criticism of the government, denouncing abuses of power and highlighting irregularities. Both entities will use media to convey their views and political stances, in an attempt to influence others, the latest of which is social media. However, while government can adopt ‘ownership’ of many media conveyors, for example newspapers can be under the remit and/or affiliated to one particular party, social media is an open, uncensored platform for freedom of speech and expression of interest. This has caused much stress and concern for certain governments (deemed left-hand extremists) who seek to censor the oppositions’ voice by means of media control. Some have been successful in media control (i.e. Chinese government and their tight controls over the internet, Venezuelan and Cuban Governments owning and controlling local TV and newspaper media) while others have decided the best approach is to embrace these tools, for example the U.S.A President Barrack Obama who is considered one of the top five people in the world to have a social media presence with more followers on twitter than celebrities such as Britney Spears, Cristiano Ronaldo and Oprey Winfrey to name but a few. Taking these factors into account, questions arise regarding how influential the interactions of individuals/groups are in forming and informing public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact. This paper aims to show, through case studies, how important or influential individuals and groups become in everyday operations/decisions, how public opinion can sway government policy, how lobbying can be achieved online using social media, and how individuals can be effected by social media influence.",
author = "Sandra Moffett and JA Santos",
note = "Reference text: Alopresidente (2010) “’Alo Presidente’: Como un Presidente Cautiv{\'o} una audiencia, oyendo pasar los a{\~n}os”. Alopresidente.org [online] URL: http://www.alopresidente.gob.ve/historia/28/1633 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Aporrea (2013) “Nosotros” Aporrea.org [online] URL: http://www.aporrea.org/nosotros Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Arab Human Development Report (2009) “Challenges to Human Security in the Arab Countries” [online] URL: http://www.arab-hdr.org/publications/other/ahdr/ahdr2009e.pdf Last Accessed: 4 February 2014 Assange, J. (2011) “{"}Internet is a ‘spying machine’, says Assange”, Media Digest [online] URL: http://mediadigest.inluk.com/internet-is-a-spying-machine-says-assange/ Last Accessed: 5 February 2014 BBC News (2012) “In depth: Media in Venezuela” BBC News Latin America & Caribeean [online] URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19368807 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Bowen, J. (2013) “The Arab Uprisings: The People Want the Fall of the Regime”, Published by Simon & Schuster , ISBN 9780857208866 Carroll, Rory (2007) “Chavez Silences Critical TV station – and robs the people of their soaps”, The Guardian [online] URL: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/may/23/venezuela.broadcasting Last Accessed: 25 January 2014 Democracy Now (2007) “Chavez Shuts Down Venezuelan TV Stations as Supporters, Opponents Rally: A Debate on the closing of RCTV” Democracy Now [online] URL: http://www.democracynow.org/2007/5/31/chavez_shuts_down_venezuelan_tv_station Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Devereux, C and Pons, C (2013) “Capriles Starts Internet TV Show to Skirt Venezuela ‘Censorship’” Bloomberg L.P. [online] URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/capriles-starts-internet-tv-show-to-skirt-venezuela-censorship-.html Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 EFE (2013) “Hugo Chavez: cronolog{\'i}a de casi 15 a{\~n}os de Gobierno bolivariano”, 20minutos.es [online] URL: http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1749945/0/hugo-chavez/muerte-cronologia/gobierno-venezuela/ Last Accessed 1 February 2014 Freedom House (2013) “Venezuela | Freedom of the Press 2013” Freedom House [online] URL: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/venezuela#.Uupxd3d_vqG Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Goodman, J. (2013) “Venezuela Cyber Crackdown Ensares Web’s BITLY”, Associated Press News [online] URL: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/venezuela-cyber-crackdown-ensnares-webs-bitly Last Accessed 1 February 2014 Hinduja S. and Patchin J.W. (2010) “Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide”, Arch Suicide Res. 14(3) pp. 206–221 Himelfarb, S. (2012) {"}Social Media in the Middle East{"}. United States Institute of Peace. [online] URL: http://www.usip.org/publications/social-media-in-the-middle-east Last Accessed: 4 February 2014 Huang, C. (2011) “Facebook and Twitter key to Arab Spring uprisings: report” [online] URL: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/facebook-and-twitter-key-to-arab-spring-uprisings-report Last Accessed: 4 February 2014 Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael (2010). {"}Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media{"}. Business Horizons 53 (1) pp. 61 McKinsey Global Institute. (2012), The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies MVF (n.d.) “Lead Generation and Internet Marketing in Venezuels”, MVF Global Customer Acquisition [online] URL: http://www.mvfglobal.com/venezuela Last Accessed: 25 January 2014 O’Reilly, Andrew (2013) “Press Freedom disappearing in Venezuela as Globovision comes under government control, Fox News Latino [online]. URL: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2013/08/22/press-freedom-disappearing-in-venezuela-as-globovision-comes-under-government/ Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Perez, L. (2014), “Twitter vs. the Revolution” IDG Connect [online] URL: http://www.idgconnect.com/blog-abstract/5349/twitter-vs-revolution Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Reardon, Juan (2011) Social Networking Media Widely Popular in Venezuela, Venezulanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/6392 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Robertson, E (2013) “Venezuela’s Maduro Denounces Twitter Attack as Thousands of Pro-Government Accounts Suspended” Venezuelanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10139 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Shirky, C. (2010), Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age, Penguin Press, New York Smilde, D and Perez Henaiz, H (2013) “Venezuela’s Opposition Confronts Reduced Media Access and Limits to Critical Coverage, Venezuelablog, tumblr.com [online] URL: http://venezuelablog.tumblr.com/post/66002595570/venezuelas-opposition-confronts-reduced-media-access Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Tapscott, D and Williams, A.D. (2006), Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Penguin Books New York Venezuelanalysis (2013) “Links - Blogs”, Venezuelanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/links#blogs Last Accessed: January 2014 Venezuelanalysis (2013a) “Links – News and Analysis”, Venezuelanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/links#news_analysis_es_pro Last Accessed: January 2014 Wikipedia (2013) “Arab Spring” [online] URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring Last Accessed: 4 February 2014",
year = "2014",
month = "7",
day = "10",
language = "English",
isbn = "978-1-910309-28-5",
pages = "313--319",
booktitle = "Unknown Host Publication",

}

Moffett, S & Santos, JA 2014, Social Media as an influencer of public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact. in Unknown Host Publication. pp. 313-319, European Conference on Social Media, 10/07/14.

Social Media as an influencer of public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact. / Moffett, Sandra; Santos, JA.

Unknown Host Publication. 2014. p. 313-319.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Social Media as an influencer of public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact

AU - Moffett, Sandra

AU - Santos, JA

N1 - Reference text: Alopresidente (2010) “’Alo Presidente’: Como un Presidente Cautivó una audiencia, oyendo pasar los años”. Alopresidente.org [online] URL: http://www.alopresidente.gob.ve/historia/28/1633 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Aporrea (2013) “Nosotros” Aporrea.org [online] URL: http://www.aporrea.org/nosotros Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Arab Human Development Report (2009) “Challenges to Human Security in the Arab Countries” [online] URL: http://www.arab-hdr.org/publications/other/ahdr/ahdr2009e.pdf Last Accessed: 4 February 2014 Assange, J. (2011) “"Internet is a ‘spying machine’, says Assange”, Media Digest [online] URL: http://mediadigest.inluk.com/internet-is-a-spying-machine-says-assange/ Last Accessed: 5 February 2014 BBC News (2012) “In depth: Media in Venezuela” BBC News Latin America & Caribeean [online] URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19368807 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Bowen, J. (2013) “The Arab Uprisings: The People Want the Fall of the Regime”, Published by Simon & Schuster , ISBN 9780857208866 Carroll, Rory (2007) “Chavez Silences Critical TV station – and robs the people of their soaps”, The Guardian [online] URL: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/may/23/venezuela.broadcasting Last Accessed: 25 January 2014 Democracy Now (2007) “Chavez Shuts Down Venezuelan TV Stations as Supporters, Opponents Rally: A Debate on the closing of RCTV” Democracy Now [online] URL: http://www.democracynow.org/2007/5/31/chavez_shuts_down_venezuelan_tv_station Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Devereux, C and Pons, C (2013) “Capriles Starts Internet TV Show to Skirt Venezuela ‘Censorship’” Bloomberg L.P. [online] URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/capriles-starts-internet-tv-show-to-skirt-venezuela-censorship-.html Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 EFE (2013) “Hugo Chavez: cronología de casi 15 años de Gobierno bolivariano”, 20minutos.es [online] URL: http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/1749945/0/hugo-chavez/muerte-cronologia/gobierno-venezuela/ Last Accessed 1 February 2014 Freedom House (2013) “Venezuela | Freedom of the Press 2013” Freedom House [online] URL: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2013/venezuela#.Uupxd3d_vqG Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Goodman, J. (2013) “Venezuela Cyber Crackdown Ensares Web’s BITLY”, Associated Press News [online] URL: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/venezuela-cyber-crackdown-ensnares-webs-bitly Last Accessed 1 February 2014 Hinduja S. and Patchin J.W. (2010) “Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide”, Arch Suicide Res. 14(3) pp. 206–221 Himelfarb, S. (2012) "Social Media in the Middle East". United States Institute of Peace. [online] URL: http://www.usip.org/publications/social-media-in-the-middle-east Last Accessed: 4 February 2014 Huang, C. (2011) “Facebook and Twitter key to Arab Spring uprisings: report” [online] URL: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/facebook-and-twitter-key-to-arab-spring-uprisings-report Last Accessed: 4 February 2014 Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael (2010). "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media". Business Horizons 53 (1) pp. 61 McKinsey Global Institute. (2012), The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies MVF (n.d.) “Lead Generation and Internet Marketing in Venezuels”, MVF Global Customer Acquisition [online] URL: http://www.mvfglobal.com/venezuela Last Accessed: 25 January 2014 O’Reilly, Andrew (2013) “Press Freedom disappearing in Venezuela as Globovision comes under government control, Fox News Latino [online]. URL: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2013/08/22/press-freedom-disappearing-in-venezuela-as-globovision-comes-under-government/ Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Perez, L. (2014), “Twitter vs. the Revolution” IDG Connect [online] URL: http://www.idgconnect.com/blog-abstract/5349/twitter-vs-revolution Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Reardon, Juan (2011) Social Networking Media Widely Popular in Venezuela, Venezulanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/6392 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Robertson, E (2013) “Venezuela’s Maduro Denounces Twitter Attack as Thousands of Pro-Government Accounts Suspended” Venezuelanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10139 Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Shirky, C. (2010), Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age, Penguin Press, New York Smilde, D and Perez Henaiz, H (2013) “Venezuela’s Opposition Confronts Reduced Media Access and Limits to Critical Coverage, Venezuelablog, tumblr.com [online] URL: http://venezuelablog.tumblr.com/post/66002595570/venezuelas-opposition-confronts-reduced-media-access Last Accessed: 1 February 2014 Tapscott, D and Williams, A.D. (2006), Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Penguin Books New York Venezuelanalysis (2013) “Links - Blogs”, Venezuelanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/links#blogs Last Accessed: January 2014 Venezuelanalysis (2013a) “Links – News and Analysis”, Venezuelanalysis.com [online] URL: http://venezuelanalysis.com/links#news_analysis_es_pro Last Accessed: January 2014 Wikipedia (2013) “Arab Spring” [online] URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring Last Accessed: 4 February 2014

PY - 2014/7/10

Y1 - 2014/7/10

N2 - Traditionally, social media was viewed as an online place where people went to socialise, meet new people, make new friends, share news and experiences, be consoled or celebrate in a virtual context. However, due to its increased popularity, social media sites have undertaken additional roles with increasing importance in today’s society. The majority of social media users are young adults (89% of social networking users fall within the 18-29 age bracket) who regularly use this fora to inform their news, political opinion, consumer choices and social engagement. Social media provides opportunity for all to have their presence noted and their say listened to, which forms the basis of democratic society. However, in true democratic terms, sides can have opposing views, resulting in a dearth of opinion. Controversial items can be streamed via social media that otherwise may not see the light of day on mainstream sites, thus the platform can be used to increase exposure to a wider audience. To this end there has been a surge in enterprise involvement, ranging from ecommerce and consumerism, to charity and education, governmental and political bodies and campaign promoters. In forming a consortium there will normally be two sides, those for and those against. In most countries the leading consortium will be the government, formed from political party election or coalition. At election times there will always be winners and losers, the winners take the leadership role while the losing party(ies) will become a pseudo organism whose main function is to undertake criticism of the government, denouncing abuses of power and highlighting irregularities. Both entities will use media to convey their views and political stances, in an attempt to influence others, the latest of which is social media. However, while government can adopt ‘ownership’ of many media conveyors, for example newspapers can be under the remit and/or affiliated to one particular party, social media is an open, uncensored platform for freedom of speech and expression of interest. This has caused much stress and concern for certain governments (deemed left-hand extremists) who seek to censor the oppositions’ voice by means of media control. Some have been successful in media control (i.e. Chinese government and their tight controls over the internet, Venezuelan and Cuban Governments owning and controlling local TV and newspaper media) while others have decided the best approach is to embrace these tools, for example the U.S.A President Barrack Obama who is considered one of the top five people in the world to have a social media presence with more followers on twitter than celebrities such as Britney Spears, Cristiano Ronaldo and Oprey Winfrey to name but a few. Taking these factors into account, questions arise regarding how influential the interactions of individuals/groups are in forming and informing public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact. This paper aims to show, through case studies, how important or influential individuals and groups become in everyday operations/decisions, how public opinion can sway government policy, how lobbying can be achieved online using social media, and how individuals can be effected by social media influence.

AB - Traditionally, social media was viewed as an online place where people went to socialise, meet new people, make new friends, share news and experiences, be consoled or celebrate in a virtual context. However, due to its increased popularity, social media sites have undertaken additional roles with increasing importance in today’s society. The majority of social media users are young adults (89% of social networking users fall within the 18-29 age bracket) who regularly use this fora to inform their news, political opinion, consumer choices and social engagement. Social media provides opportunity for all to have their presence noted and their say listened to, which forms the basis of democratic society. However, in true democratic terms, sides can have opposing views, resulting in a dearth of opinion. Controversial items can be streamed via social media that otherwise may not see the light of day on mainstream sites, thus the platform can be used to increase exposure to a wider audience. To this end there has been a surge in enterprise involvement, ranging from ecommerce and consumerism, to charity and education, governmental and political bodies and campaign promoters. In forming a consortium there will normally be two sides, those for and those against. In most countries the leading consortium will be the government, formed from political party election or coalition. At election times there will always be winners and losers, the winners take the leadership role while the losing party(ies) will become a pseudo organism whose main function is to undertake criticism of the government, denouncing abuses of power and highlighting irregularities. Both entities will use media to convey their views and political stances, in an attempt to influence others, the latest of which is social media. However, while government can adopt ‘ownership’ of many media conveyors, for example newspapers can be under the remit and/or affiliated to one particular party, social media is an open, uncensored platform for freedom of speech and expression of interest. This has caused much stress and concern for certain governments (deemed left-hand extremists) who seek to censor the oppositions’ voice by means of media control. Some have been successful in media control (i.e. Chinese government and their tight controls over the internet, Venezuelan and Cuban Governments owning and controlling local TV and newspaper media) while others have decided the best approach is to embrace these tools, for example the U.S.A President Barrack Obama who is considered one of the top five people in the world to have a social media presence with more followers on twitter than celebrities such as Britney Spears, Cristiano Ronaldo and Oprey Winfrey to name but a few. Taking these factors into account, questions arise regarding how influential the interactions of individuals/groups are in forming and informing public policy, cultural engagement, societal change and human impact. This paper aims to show, through case studies, how important or influential individuals and groups become in everyday operations/decisions, how public opinion can sway government policy, how lobbying can be achieved online using social media, and how individuals can be effected by social media influence.

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 978-1-910309-28-5

SP - 313

EP - 319

BT - Unknown Host Publication

ER -