Technology and Politics

As technology continues to become a prominent part of society, politics continues to evolve along with it.



President Trump has turned to Twitter as a political platform.

Alyssa Bruce, Staff Writer

The way people receive information is changing. In the past, people digested news through paper, magazines, and TV. The ability to access and spread information was incredibly expensive and could only be done so by networks and established groups. With the advent of social media, this is changing. Anyone with a phone can record the world around them and publish it to the billions of internet users worldwide. Politicians also take advantage of social media, directly addressing the people they represent, even though they could be hundreds of miles away. Still, with so many sources to get information from, what is true and what isn’t is becoming increasingly difficult to discern.

As most things do, both positive and negative outcomes resulted from technology in politics. 

Social media has made news and election information readily available, to a large majority of the population. In a global poll, 78% said that access to the internet, mobile phones, and social media have made people more informed about current events. Additionally, the majority of the pollers said that technology enables citizens to be more involved in their governments. Social media accounts of politicians and news apps are such examples that allow people to be informed and active in their government, on both local and a national scale.

However, 28% stated that the impact has caused more issues than good. In particular, citizens from middle eastern nations, such as Jordan and Lebanon, had strong negative views on the effects of the internet on information.  

With news and information being spread at an incredibly rapid rate, the amount of false information being posted poses an increasingly large threat. The “fake news” issue has dug its roots deep into politics and technology. 72% reported that technologies have made people easier to manipulate with rumors and false information, and majorities in eight countries say social media have increased the risk that citizens might be manipulated by domestic politicians.

Today, the social media platform Twitter plays a large role in politics in America. Groups of people who hold the same beliefs cluster together, law makers take to Twitter to make announcements, and clashes between people of different beliefs all often occur on the app.

A study done on Twitter depicted that “political talk is highly partisan, where users’ clusters are characterized by homogeneous views and are linked to information sources….” These dynamics likely “reinforce in-group and out-group affiliations, as literally, users form separate political groups on Twitter.” This is due to how the algorithms work on social media. These platforms want users to stay on their apps for as long as possible, so by showing them content they agree with and reinforce their beliefs, people will continue to scroll and swipe for the positive feedback. Although, in doing so, social media apps then prevent people from seeing dissenting opinions.

These clusters are often one-sided, aligning with users’ political beliefs. Some are now moving away from neutral news accounts, and are turning to ones that are biased towards the individual’s beliefs.

America’s president, Donald Trump, has been utilizing technology as a way to express his political actions and beliefs. At the start of his presidency, Trump tweeted around 9 times a day. Within three months after the start, he tripled that number.

While former presidents would communicate with the people through speeches and press briefings, President Trump connects to the people via Twitter. Although this method could be seen as a more personable way of communication, the President’s lack of consultation before tweeting has some concerned. In the past, he as even announced the firing of White House officials on the platform

The new technology that continues to be created has changed politics in numerous ways. As it becomes more prominent, it plays a larger role in politics. Whether it be through Twitter or news apps, it seems that its impact will only become greater with time.