PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Jabulane. R. Mulambo
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 609
 
 
 

The power of Twitter and Facebook in democracy

11 April 2017, 13:34

Statistics indicate that more than 13 million South Africans are active on Facebook and more than 7 million are on Twitter. This depicts a massive trend of social media uptake in South Africa. Thus, it is evident that South Africans are increasingly embracing the importance of social media and its value in modern human communication. However, this trend can only be assumed as the beginning of an envisioned well connected and digital adept South Africa.

Social Media like any technological innovation is subjective to its own utopian and dystopian critiques, but history has evidenced that Social Media is a potent tool with transformational abilities to shape and influence the way in which people communicate and share information. 

One of the qualities that define Social Media is its ability to transcend beyond borders, without observing spatial distance that exists between and amongst the geographies. In addition, social media connects individuals on a semi-personal level, while allowing instantaneous feedback and dialogue.

The latter is among the distinguishing features that seal the social media’s uniqueness in comparison to traditional media. But, this does not rule out the possible abuse of such innocent yet powerful platforms of communications. Different sectors ranging from government to business also embeds and encourages the embracement of social media platforms into their processes in order to enhance organisational efficiency. Furthermore, social media is also viewed as a beefy carcass for breaking news and current trends from which media-vultures feast on the marrow of its rich and timeliness scoop.

From a personal level, social media has advanced the state of citizen journalism amongst the South African citizenry, wherein hashtag current affairs are seen flooding most social media timelines. 

Building from one of the greatest social media democratic campaign in history¬_ the Arab spring, South Africans are gradually realising the significance of social media for democratic benefits. Thus social media has become a centre of protest mobilisation in South Africa.

The recent #SaveSA protest, preceded by #ZumaMustFall, #PayBackTheMoney and #FeesMustFall protest actions demonstrated the role and the power of social media during protest mobilisation in South Africa.  Though the impact of #SaveSA’s online campaign cannot be weighed to that of Arab Spring but the role of social media is evident and expanding with impact as per protest action. However, the #SaveSA protest did not yield the desired outcome but its social media campaign sent enough ripple to dominate most South African social media spaces during preparation.

The ripple of such campaign is still vibrating on social media, despite the mass protest been scheduled for one day. Moreover, social media in South Africa is now seen as an agent of public discourse and a driver of public participation and freedom of speech amid political and democratic uncertainty. In addition, social media is also raising the political and democratic consciousness amongst South Africans through different Hashtag trends and discourses.

Therefore, the power of social media in the current South African political and democratic dispensation cannot be underestimated. This is simple because social media revolves around user-generated content, which makes it difficult for the effects of traditional media’s agenda setting, framing or propaganda impossible to prevail.

Jabulane R Mulambo is a young professional, with expertise in Corporate Communication, Digital Communication and Knowledge Management.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Rebone Tau
What it means to be part of the n...

Under President Cyril Ramaphosa, we are seeing an ANC that is for the people of South Africa; an ANC that will bring back the meaning of being a patriotic citizen of the Republic of South Africa, writes Rebone TauRead more...

0 comments 793 views
Submitted by
Revelgen
Strike while the iron is hot, Cyr...

After that statesmanlike SONA speech, it is clear that Cyril Ramaphosa is riding high and confidently. But as everyone said afterwards, 'Now let us see him walk the talk'. Read more...

0 comments 271 views
Submitted by
Chris Robinson
How right Mrs Zuma was to predict...

I do not think Mrs Zuma expected THIS kind of trouble. Her hubby's empire is collapsing faster than the twin towers, with as much dust and noise. Read more...

0 comments 969 views
Did Zuma really bow down to press...

Politics is a game of tactics and strategies. Beyond public confrontations and debates by leaders of political parties lies serious researches, analysis and planning. Read more...

0 comments 267 views
Submitted by
Sanele Sano Ngcobo
Zuma is still my hero: let's forg...

Say whatever you wants to say, Msholozi will always be my hero for saving lives of black people and increasing the value of our lives.  Read more...

0 comments 272 views
Submitted by
maseratifittipaldi
How to avoid SA making the same m...

f we do not make changes - eliminate the weaknesses within our Constitution - we can be assured that a Zuma type of era, or worse, will be repeated at some time in the future.  Read more...

0 comments 1256 views
 

services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2018 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.