Digital Media Concepts/Detriments of the Internet

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

The internet is one of the broadest resources for people to find information. It offers almost complete transparency, provides a forum for discussion, allows people to voice their opinions, and helps people gain a more informed viewpoint on issues. The internet allows people to further their education, communicate with people from all around the world, and has overall improved our lifestyle. However, it still has many detriments. It permits the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and could probably shape the next modern day “Civil War”.

Rebel Group Formation[edit | edit source]

On one hand, the wave of internet communication has greatly benefited people in repressive countries, rather than the people in power. It has become much easier for citizens to organize protests and bring forward information about corrupt leaders to the rest of the world. [1] In addition, it has become much harder for the people in power to stop this these issues from happening. On the other hand, internet campaigns have also made it so rebel groups can become more widespread on media platforms. These “rebel entrepreneurs” can now reach people from all over the world instead of recruiting just locals. Through social media and the Internet, they can also finance their war. Groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda can now threaten a larger number of people due to their newfound resources, like money and the human capital.

Protests can be planned through social media and the Internet

Sustainability of Rebel Groups[edit | edit source]

This “civil war” will be able to last longer because resources for rebel groups are now sustainable. They can raise funds from radicalized supporters from all over the world and develop a worldwide network of supporters. [2]The presence of an international audience practically encourages these rebel groups and terrorist organizations to be more daring in their actions. This is because people may be more likely to support global propaganda.

Political Influence and Propaganda[edit | edit source]

The American Election in 2016[edit | edit source]

On September 6, 2017, Facebook revealed that fake Russian Facebook accounts bought over $100,000 in propaganda ads (about 3,000 ads)[3], suggesting that perhaps the election was influenced by these fake media accounts. Although social media can connect people throughout the world, it also promotes the spread of misinformation. Facebook linked these accounts to a company created by the Kremlin, called the “Internet Research Agency”. This has prompted Facebook to start blocking ads from pages that share fake news.

Propaganda and the Effects on the Election[edit | edit source]

Even though these ads never took a clear position on a candidate, it was aimed to destroy Clinton’s reputation and stance on political issues, such as gun control, abortion laws, and LGBTQ laws.[4] Even though 470 fake American accounts were shut down, it still exposes the fact that social media proved to be a detriment, rather than an unbiased source for untainted information.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. King, Anthony (August 16, 2017), 6 Ways the Internet Is Shaping the ‘New Civil Wars', Retrieved September 17, 2017
  2. Walter, Barbara F. (February 27, 2017), The New New Civil Wars, Retrieved September 17, 2017
  3. Heath, Alex (September 6, 2017), Facebook Says Fake Accounts Linked to Russia Bought Thousands of Ads during US Election, Retrieved September 17, 2017
  4. Goel, Vindu, and Scott Shane (September 6, 2017), Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads, Retrieved September 17, 2017