Social Media May Not Be the Democratic Force We Thought It Was

On Federal Election Day, 2015, over 770,000 Tweets were sent out into the Twittersphere in Canada, but new data shows that the high volume of social media posts may not be reaching a new audience. Despite the early promise and the increased use of social media to discuss politics and policy issues, fewer Canadians have been joining the online conversation over the last two years.

Of late it seems that elections are said to be won in part because a certain politician is more adept at social media than his or her counterpart. Social media and its instantaneous, 24-7 two-way flow of news has also been cited as one of the reasons for the decline in print news.

With more and more people joining social media to engage in social, policy and political discussion (from 2010 to 2014 the number of Canadians doubled), some believed that social media and the increased access to information would improve transparency and understanding of the political process.

 

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