How does social media affect democratic societies?

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Over time, social media has become a vehicle for the dissemination and discussion of political viewpoints and analysis. As elections begin to populate social media feeds and ongoing crises call for people to pick sides, social media has become a minefield where users are exposed to misinformation on a massive scale.

Social media has become increasingly driven by the advertiser business model – social media platforms run ads that generate revenue depending on how many people see it. As such, social media platforms are primed to take advantage of this by driving up engagement. As such, platforms have become rife with misinformation and inflammatory content in order to incite users into engaging with the platform out of anger, fear and frustration.

As such, social media begins to have a negative effect on the mental health of users, and changes how they interact with social media and the world around them. Professor Uri Gal of Sydney University was on The Wire to discuss the effects of social media on democratic societies.

Read Professor Uri Gal’s piece here.

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