The Conversation just published a short essay entitled “Beyond fake news: social media and market-driven political campaignswritten by Merlyna Lim. This essay is a summary of a much longer and comprehensive article, titled “Freedom to Hate: social media, algorithmic enclaves, and the rise of tribal nationalism in Indonesia,” published in Critical Asian Journal. 

… The entanglement of politics and social media is more pronounced in election campaigns as candidates and their supporters are aggressively using the platforms to win elections.

Advancements in communication technology make it easier and more affordable for political parties, politicians and supporters to get their message across. Based on recent developments, as exemplified by the cases of President Donald Trump in the US, “Brexit” in the UK, and the gubernatorial election (Pilkada) in Jakarta, some suggest that social media campaigns are shaping accounts to such an extent that the democratic process itself is under threat.

Many observers focus on the proliferation of fake news, pointing out that social media have ushered us into the post-truth era. I, however, see fake news as a logical consequence of market-driven media and political campaigns. Today’s campaigns rely on a commercial framework where marketing and branding have become integral to campaign strategy.

To continue reading, go the original article in The Conversation.