Why governments do want to control social media?

In my firs blog I has tried to answer the question about how social media influence on society and an individual. Today I want to see on this topic from the opposite point of view and I want to analyze how audience of social media has changed its behavior comparing with traditional media and what is the role of audience in the digital culture. This question was the topic of the previous lecture in my UNSW master program course Online and Mobile Media. I’ll try to summaries the main ideas about this topic from the lecture and from the other sources and try to answer the question, that is the headline of my today post.

From mine point of view, the most important difference between traditional and social media is that the audience of traditional media usually plays passive role. It only gets the information and can somehow react to it, however, this reaction will be in another dimension, i.e. the media communication has predominantly unilateral order. In social networks, audience has the opportunity to play the active role. It can change the way of how information spread and also transform this information. Audience not only participates in the process of creation of information, but also it influences upon the speed of information expansion, in what borders it spread and how many people it will read. Thus, in social media audience recreates itself and can significantly alter the original information and their widespread through the comments, sharing, links, hashtags and other tools. The audience becomes an active participant in all processes associated with the information. Moreover, the active role of the audience influences not only on information, but also it change the process of making a decisions on society. Audience through social media can organize different real activities, that can be against or support any political decisions.

We can say that social media is a tool of spreading not only ideas, but also this is the place for organizing different activities. Therefore, some researches claim that the main feature of the audience of social media is collaboration. It means that digital society use social media not only for communication, but also it’s becoming a very efficient tools, that use for solution in many cases.

The audience in digital culture has self-recognition and self-estimate, it means, that this audience understand their power and how they can use it in different situations. There are so many examples of immense successful campaigns in social networks. As a result, majority of social media users believe that the possibilities of social networks are unlimited. That means, that through this channel of communication every one can sent a message to wide audience and probably find solution of the problem, if the reason for this message was the problem.
Moreover, through social media the audience chooses the main resources of information, it means that in social networks some traditional media has been selected as a trustful sources, some of them lose the trust of audience. It usually happens then audience somehow investigate that media try to support or protect government or politicians’ interests. With social media this investigation has become easier. Governments very clear understand the power of social media audience and how it has changed modern society. From this perspective it should be understandable why governments try to control social media, and what is the main reason for the banning social networks in some countries, such as China.

According to different sources some social media such as Facebook has been blocked in 7 countries.

The rumors about the possibility of ban social media regularly has become also in Russian during last several years. For example, after a new law about ‘the protection of information’ was launch in Russia in April 2014, in the Internet and media became information that some social networks can be blocked in the country.

Information is the main resource of power in the end of XX and the beginning of XXI centuries, therefore, how people receive information, how they have a deal with it are very important for political sphere. Governments have lost their influence on the audience, because it usually was based on the power of information and manipulating social consciousness by the traditional media. With social media all participants of social interaction should change their strategy and tactics. However, for some regimes it’s inappropriate. For this regimes audience still should be only recipient of information without any possibilities to take an active role.

For practitioners, who work with information especially in government field the main question related to social media, how is it possible to managed information in actual practice. The answer is that it inefficient to try to manage information in digital culture. Only one thing that we can do in this situation it’s to become a part o digital society, understand the rules that already exist in the public sphere and follow it. Or to ban the social networks…

This entry was posted in Online and Mobile Media, Politic, Social media, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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