The Impact of Social Media Platforms on Politics in Central Texas: An Expert's Perspective

Journalists and reporters are responsible for uncovering newsworthy stories by keeping an eye on areas of public interest, such as politics, business and sports. To carry out their work, the media employs several people in various positions. Once a journalist has a clue or a possible idea for a story, they research the background and interview people to create a complete and balanced story. Editors work in the background in the newsroom, assigning stories, approving articles or packages, and editing content to ensure accuracy and clarity.

Publishers are individuals or companies that own and produce print or digital media. They oversee both the content and finances of the publication, ensuring that the organization makes a profit and creates a high-quality product for distribution to consumers. Producers oversee the production and finance of visual media, such as television, radio and film. In recent years, social media platforms have gained immense power derived from the enormous amount of data they have collected and grouped. This power includes “what is believed or known” and the channels through which these beliefs, ideas and knowledge are communicated or limited.

Social networks do not have a single predetermined result; they can be used to connect people who love democracy, but also to connect white supremacists or radical Buddhist monks who spread incitement to ethnic cleansing. The power of knowledge on social media platforms can take many forms. Facebook knows more about a person than the government does, while Google uses collateral data to profile users based on their characteristics and interests. Over the years, Google and Facebook have sold more ads by reducing user privacy and gaining more access to a person's data. The perceived trust of the media in democratic states has given these states advantages over non-democratic ones. Social media platforms have replaced traditional media as the main places where people go to get their news, giving them the power to shape public life.

Facebook's algorithms tend to reinforce a “filter bubble” that protects people from dissenting information and only offers content that confirms their views. YouTube's recommendation algorithm often recommends videos that reflect the political prejudices of its viewers. Fake news has gained prevalence in recent years due to the growing role of social media platforms as media, where content can be produced and transmitted between users without filters or data verifications. The effects of social media platforms on politics in Central Texas vary depending on state capacity (weak versus strong) and type of regime (democratic vs authoritarian). In strong democratic regimes, social media platforms appear to be having a debilitating effect; in strong authoritarian regimes, an intensifying effect; in weak democratic regimes, a radicalizing effect; and in weak authoritarian regimes, a destabilizing effect. Social media platforms have immense power over politics in Central Texas.

They can shape public life by influencing what content is produced, where people go for news, and what news and information citizens see. They can also be used to spread fake news which can lead to polarization between groups with opposing viewpoints and cause greater instability in weak authoritarian regimes. It is important for citizens to be aware of how social media platforms can influence politics so that they can make informed decisions about their own political beliefs. It is essential for citizens to understand how these platforms work so that they can make informed decisions about their own political beliefs.