Isn’t digital activism mostly about politics?

April 14, 2019 0 By raveekorn , dapattarika, naphat
trump’s twitter provides more wider
views of policy

Back to a decade ago, Thai political-social context was completely different from this era.Normally, Thai politics has the main place in the parliament, on the billboard or brochure. Nowadays, social-political participation has expanded on the online world by using various social media platforms. People have a chance of freedom for expression rather than the past as well as using technology to play a political role in daily life such as stirring people, communication about election’s issues and many other difficult predictions. Technology seems to be a double-edged sword. While these tools help to support freedom of expression, they lead to undermine democracy and create illusive news as well. However, the new political format that occurs in the ‘ Digital World ‘ still created hope for everyone.

How do they work together?

 Many people realize that the role of media in the digital world mobilize people who have the same perspectives and opinions to come out together in order to organize activities or protests leading to political changed. For example, making the world more democratic as Arab Spring event in which people protest and lead to reform government in the Arab world. But when (in) 2016, two events occurred, the first was Brexit and the second was Donald Trump’s victory. According to two events, they caused people to believe in cyberspace is used to be apart of spread information, policies of the party and so on due to the fact that social media is easily accessible and directly targeted. This is obviously common in United State Presidential election. The progressive party believes that there is a rival government as Russia, who produced fake news and propaganda in order to help Donald Trump achieves his goal. Therefore, people have begun to assess that social media do not only support democracy or harmony but also create problems in politics as well. In addition, this phenomenon has occurred in Southeast Asia (ASEAN) such as Malaysia. Malaysia’s elections in 2013, the opposition party used social media to receive points until they almost won. If the government does not gerrymander the election with the electoral system and constituency division. Mohammad Najib bin Abdul Razak the Prime Minister of Malaysia at that time said that he met the ‘Internet tsunami’ resulting in Malaysian politicians necessarily adjust by signing in Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the public. However, the opposition party eventually won the election in 2018.

In Thailand….

 It ultimately happened with the election of Thailand since we have abstained the election for 7 years, this election is going to be the first election in Thailand to use social media, “The first social media election”. Social media is going to play a role in distributing news, campaign, agenda and main political issues. It becomes a new aspect to recognize all of the election information. Although social media such as Facebook and Twitter occur in Thailand since 2005 – 2006, social media has not been used much for election in 2011. We could count on politicians who use Facebook earn serious votes, but nowadays the shoe is on the other foot. Social media has reached its peak point. People lead to see new media battlefield first time in Thai’s election 2019 as it is completely proved from a lot of hashtag in social media especially on twitter such as #fahrukpor, #relieveECT, #ThaiElection2019 or #saveThantorn.

ผลการค้นหารูปภาพสำหรับ #thailandelection2019
#ThailandElection2019 is ranked in twitter trend.

Conflict or Conciliation

 The issues that need to be considered are “ If politicians and political parties can analyze personal information of the people until they can customize and personalized political campaigning and communication in accordance with the tastes of each person. How will it affect the digital world political market? ”There is widespread debate about this issue especially after this news, Cambridge Analytica company secretly used personal information over 50 million Facebook users to analyze political behavior, tastes , and attitudes. Also, applying results to the United States presidential election campaign in 2016 that contributed Donald Trump to win the election in 2016 with unpredictable. This situation made citizens dissatisfaction with Facebook. #DeleteFacebook became a popular hashtag during March – April 2018. The United States Congress has called Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO to clarify as Facebook’s fierce dissatisfaction. He apologizes to the Congress and promised to increase privacy. Concerning about the negative impact of social media on electoral processes and democracy have increased before never. Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher at Oxford Internet Institute, warned that the electoral process and democracy tend to more deteriorate and conflict. Additionally, analyzing personal data and choosing to communicate with individuals is likely to undermine the ability of citizens to make rational political decisions.Our society will lose trust between each other at foundation level until the bargaining system among various business groups. So, social stratification is difficult to find consensus.

The United States Congress has called Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO to clarify
as Facebook’s fierce dissatisfaction.


Advantage and disadvantage

 It is undeniable that digital activism has both pros and cons depending on how do people apply it. Obviously, in Thailand politic illustrates how digital activism influence citizens. Speaking of advantage, using the technology for presenting your content is helpful tools. In this era, technology is a part of our lives; on the other words, a majority of people use the internet in their daily life. In term of politic, some governments and parliaments are also creating online petition sites. Thanks to them, citizens have a more direct way to influence policy-making. Wikileaks and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists can be considered different examples of online activism. By revealing thousands of classified documents, these sites are contributing to transparency and shaping public opinion and governance. Moreover, online political activism is helping to tip the balance in some contested electoral campaigns. For instance, for the past election in Thailand, there was a lot of hashtag on twitter which is supporting that party thus it creates more reliable since the candidate has been posted by oneself. Besides, digital activism is democratizing activism. Previously, broadcasting a message was costly so only relatively big organizations could afford to undertake big campaigns and mobilize many people but in these days social media has made it much easier. Candidates and citizen can interact with each other also candidate can know what the citizens’ need then adapt their policy to respond to them. However, Every coin has two sides, we would love to say politics on digital media definitely have adverse sides. Posting on social media can ruin your party as well. For instance, the detail can be distorted by someone so that it may ruin that party reputation. Online activism can be misleading. Clicks of supports and shares do not always translate into a large force outside the Internet. Activism is being banalized and being transformed into a sort of entertainment. Online activism has transformed the way social and political campaigners communicate their message. Often, messages are being overly simplified and there is less room for public deliberation and exchange of views than in traditional activism. All of these cause huge damage to the party. Some of the news that posting on Facebook is not much trustful since everyone can be journalists. To be more specific, on social media, people can post any content by not consider carefully and some post the false content to create the misunderstanding. Hence, if people do not use digital activism in the appropriate way, it can affect the party. Even though it has various advantage but meanwhile it also contains the disadvantage as well so that citizens must not use this platform to break the trustworthy.

In conclusion

No matter how much this world has changed, one thing that always be the base of everything is ‘communication’. Since we have nothing in the Stone Age, people still found their ways to communicate with others. For example, making noises, tap the rocks, scratch the caves, pictograms or using gestures. It is obvious that people have to live as a community, stay together as a group or at least two people. It was so difficult back in the old days, to communicate and keep in touch with other people. You might have seen it from your parents or in some movies like they used pigeon as the sender after they wrote something down on the paper, telegram, postal service, or Electronic Mail. Therefore, it is important to learn how to communicate effectively in today’s world especially when we can communicate with the person who lives worlds away with one single click on your device. Apart from that, people talk all the time with several topics. Since words matter, they can create many things in the world like ideas to do things, contracts, jobs, some inventions, and laws. In some careers, communication is the key no matter what platform, offline or online. And of course there are good and bad sides, that’s why we have to think and be conscious before we say something. The interesting career for this study case is politicians. As the representatives of the one who control things like economics,social, and more, that will move the country forward. The politicians take the major role in the part above but what makes them successful? The heart of being skillful politicians is knowing how to communicate expertly. Not only to other politicians but also to the people in their country. Convincing is not easy, it’s all about the content, tone, idea, and attention from the audience, it’s true that we cannot change anybody’s mind but the way they think is still possible. Moreover, there’re so many ways people can reach your content because of the technology in the present day. The Digital world is new and wide, full of information and entertainment. People can use it however they want but there are consequences of course, what you post on the internet, it stays forever.As we receive information through the internet like big data, we have to sort out for some useful content that match with our aims so that we can get what we want and nowadays , AI ( Artificial Intelligence ) has developed a lot that it can customizes  and personalizes the content that you like or do not like, what kind of sites that you visit frequently or even what you posted on any media, the similar thing that you posted can pop up more and more.

That’s the strong point of AI, and good for advertising stuff online. Speaking of how politics and internet are related, people have been adapted to the world for our whole lives, this is just another big step for people to move forward. From March 26, 2019, Thailand had an actual election since there’re a lot of political problems in this country. We finally had an election but before that happened, citizens got to know the politicians from media like news, social media, and newspaper.  Media is the main platform that can spread information from the candidates to Thai people.