Impact of social media on electioneering

ISLAMABAD: Over the past 15 years or so, the world has undergone what many believe to be the most radical lifestyle change in history, owing to the onset of the internet. Simply put, the power and influence of the internet can’t be denied: everyone is caught in the labyrinth the World Wide Web is, unable to put down their smartphones lest they miss out on the next big breaking news or social update. A recent addition to the electioneering arsenal of political parties is social media, which first emerged in 2013 after being used effectively by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to mobilise its voter base. The PTI has also utilised social media to spread the word about their upcoming public gatherings. For example, a Facebook event page was created for their rally in Karachi. Multiple speeches made by politicians are shared on social media by their official profiles. Social media increases the accountability of parties and their representatives. Unfortunately, rural areas are not as exposed to media as urban areas, thus urban settlements experience the most under the impact of social media.

Rayyan Malik

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2018.

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