Dealing with Political Propaganda, Misinformation and Fake News in Mass Media

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Mass media has been encouraging voter turnouts for quite some time now. The history of media goes way back to the time of the great pyramids. There are powerful stakeholders that get their propaganda across to their supporters and even to people who are not supporting them to affect who they vote for. Even though there is fake news and russian involvement in hindering voting participation, mass media still manages to encourage voting.

The history of media goes back to the egyptians using hieroglyphics to communicate to the rest of the country. Media has come along way from using hieroglyphics Mass media become big when the first newspapers went out in the early 17th century, however not many people were literate back then so reading newspapers was not common. Newspapers made a big reentrance in the early 18th century when a vast amount of the population was literate. Mass media got even bigger when in 1835 morse code was invented bringing along the telegraph lines. Telegraph lines were set up all along the country allowing information to be received and sent instantaneously. Mass media was truly revionutionalized when in 1920 a radio in Pittsburg reported that years presidential election results. The radio was the first form of media that did not require a wire which was a big deal at the time. Later that century in 1965 the internet was created in a lab at MIT, however very few people knew that the internet existed at the time. It wasn't until 1993 that around 2 million computers were using the internet. Then social media was born, in 2004 Facebook was available to anyone who owned a computer. The internet paired with social media was to become a big platform for information and propaganda to be accessed and received. I used the source owlcation for getting the information above. Owlcation is a reliable because the author is reliable. The author Rupert Taylor has spent the last 50 years writing for the radio for the print and has even wrote some books.

In 2010 Facebook generated an add encouraging its users to vote. The message showed pictures of one users friends who had voted. This add led to 340,000 of its users to vote. Scientists from Facebook claimed that they believed that their study was one of the first to show that social media has some impact on elections. A more recent example of social media encouraging its users to vote is when Bumble partnered with the “I am a voter campaign”. Bumble is a social media site based on interactions and friendships which created its own “I am a voter” badge to encourage its users to vote. Bumble claims that the real reason they created this badge and its partnership was to educate its users and to cause more interaction between voters. For getting this information I used The New York Times and USA Today News. These two sites are very reliable because of their experience writing about current topics as well as their credibility.

The stakeholders are clear when it comes to mass media and voter participation. And they all encourage viewers to vote for them in some way. The big ones are political candidates, news sources such as CNN and Fox news, and even voters. Each of these stakeholders have their own and different interests. The political candidates interests are relatively the same. They want to spread their propaganda to all that listen and follow them. Democrats will create commercials to vote for them over their opponents because their opponents are hurting our country. Political candidates also always make adds informing the public what they will do to help the country. Voters do relatively the same things. Voters post about how their candidate is good because of this and how all the others are awful and should not be voted for. And finally news sources. News sources are generally bias so we can easily tell who the source prefers. It is a good idea to look at Democrat sources as well as Republican sources to get a better understanding of what the candidates are wanting to do for the country so voters can make their own decisions on who is best. All of these stakeholders are important to the encouragement of voters but can also hinder voters from voting in some cases.

According to a survey from Pew research center 30% of Americans had heard from friends and family on social media to vote for a candidate. This shows us that media has some effect over whether people vote or not, it is not a big number but it still means that media has encouraged voting to happen. And in a graph out of a textbook it shows us that 41% of individuals were influenced to vote because of comments on social media. This again shows us that social media has an effect on individuals voting participation meaning that media encourages voting participation. All of this data shows us that media, social media mainly has encouraged voting participation. For the data above I stated that I used Pew Research Center and our classes history textbook. The textbook is very reliable because there have been many versions of it continuously re-editing the book so students across the country can continue to be fed the correct and ever changing information. And Pew Research Center is just as reliable because it is a research center based on gathering information and surveys on current issues and focuses on the public opinion.

Even though mass media has encouraged voting participation there are still reasons in which media cannot be relied upon for information on candidates. Some of these instances include fake news and Russians creating wrong information targeting the U.S.. Fake news and Russian involvement are very similar to each other. Both lead American voters to not know what is the truth in what they are receiving information wise. Because Americans don't know what is actually true it leads us to just not vote. These are both very recent to Trump becoming president and have impacted voters greatly. I used the University of Oregon’s journalism and communication site for this information to help me along with this. The University of Oregon’s research site is very reliable because they have many very well educated individuals working on these type of sites.

All things considered, mass media has come along way, from hieroglyphics to social media. Social media has captivated a vast majority of our country's population becoming the perfect platform for political propaganda. 

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Dealing With Political Propaganda, Misinformation and Fake News in Mass Media. (2022, Sep 10). Retrieved July 15, 2024 , from

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