If the freedom of the press is damaged or hampered, it becomes a serious threat to normal democracy and to the democratic environment. But even newspapers are not always neutral. The culture of supporting a particular political party in the media during a democratic election has been around for a long time in the paradise of democracy like the United Kingdom. Yet has the newspaper ever been confronted with democracy? Did or did not go. Because newspapers are news-based organizations. The organization has to take responsibility for the published news. Professional journalists work there. No one event becomes news just because of someone’s personal likes or dislikes (due to likes, comments, or shares on social media).
Confidence, informative exchange of views, a thorough understanding of the truth, mutual consent, and normal participation of the people — these are the basic values of democracy. Social media has suddenly put these values of democracy to a difficult test. Even social media has been able to capture some of the virtues of democracy in a controlled way. But some are again trying to think of these “certain controlled qualities” as the lifeblood of democracy. Expression of opinion can be democratic, it can also be a sign of error.
We need to remember that social media is a business venture. Democracy is not something like that. It goes without saying that you do not expect to receive cash for your normal democratic views. You could say that you voted for 500-1000 notes. But you don’t have to write a column in a newspaper to understand that it is not a vote or a democratic exercise of the vote.
The business and profits of social media companies have grown so much that their owners are constantly appearing on the list of the richest people in the world. Facebook currently owns 20 percent of the digital advertising market in the United States and 8 percent of the world’s digital advertising market. Interestingly, this market and this occupation have been in a pretty similar situation for the last four years.
Parliamentary democracy is by far the most successful and popular system in the state. You could say that social media is also popular. Yes, of course. However, the main reason for this popularity is that you do not have to spend any money to use social media. Additionally, you can make money from this platform. This is one of the basic principles of social media organizations.
One of the main reasons for its popularity, you might say, is that social media can easily establish free communication with thousands of people without any hassle. But outside of personal communication, do people communicate or talk to each other through social media? Usually when a person posts or comments on social media, his primary purpose is to get everyone to read that comment and get a quick response. Is it possible to have a constructive discussion with the concept of ‘Let everyone read’ and ‘I want to teach everyone? The policy of social media organizations is also discriminatory, not as universal as democracy. Simply put, the democratic concept for the masses is the same from Rakah in Syria to Dhaka in Bangladesh. But the social media adheres to the rules of ‘Jasmine in the country’. Since Turkey has blasphemy laws, Facebook does not allow any religious cartoons of Shirley Hebdo to be published there. But in the case of France, their rule is completely opposite.
Structurally, social media is a product of ‘communicative capitalism. The aims and objectives of the organizations are to make money or to raise more capital by converting the thoughts and feelings of the common people into content. Facebook’s algorithm has been described as terrible. Because people are trying to control using this algorithm.
If you ask yourself why do you use social media or what do you do on social media? The simple answer is that you resort to social media to consume or create ‘information’. Roughly speaking, with a few exceptions, you, like ten other people, are a 24-hour unpaid worker on social media. In a democratic system, there is a concept of fixed working hours and minimum income. There is no such thing in the concept of social media.
Social media has provided an interesting platform for people to question any power, including political institutions. But it also puts the questioners at a social and personal security risk. The security risks posed by social media are happening very secretly and silently. It is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to realize this before they become the target of an attack or a personal attack.
Let’s go back to the previous argument. Newspapers, radio, TV — we did not consider these media as a threat to democracy. Because, no matter what their political position, they do not have the opportunity to defend themselves. Because half the world’s people do not rely solely on a newspaper or a TV channel for news. But now with social media, in particular, Facebook has emerged as the primary provider of information to half the world’s population. Facebook currently has about 2.69 billion active users.
Facebook is the world’s largest news organization, with no real newsroom or responsible editor.
Professor Robert E. Goodin, in his article ‘Democratic Delivery Within’, described social media as a place to express ‘blink card delivery’ or ‘narrow views’. He added that social media does not reflect the thoughts of the masses in any way, but rather it presents a certain thought among the people. Douglas Kellner thinks that the Internet world could not be the world of ordinary people just because of these limitations.
There was a time when books or the media were the refuges of our references. There was a relation of objectivity with the information necessary for man. Information had to cross the line of objectivity and that information had to be given certain paths before it could become knowledge. This behavior was part of our information culture. In this civilization of social media, that culture has not changed at all. But now organizations like Facebook and Twitter have emerged as the primary source of our knowledge. We have lost our normal judgment, discretion, and decision-making ability. Even serious issues like treatment of the disease are not left out.
The question was, is democracy being attacked? There is room for further debate or discussion in the North. But giving an example is the most logical here. Ask about the role of “Russian propaganda” on social media before the Brexit vote. The role of social media in the victory of Donald Trump can also be discussed if we want to take the bigger question as an example.