Social Media Report
Social media is an interaction platform where different individuals create, share, and exchange various information and ideas generated by individuals over various networks. Ideally, social media depends entirely on mobile and web based applications as the main platforms through which the exchange occurs. Since its development, social media has substantively changed the face of communication between individuals, organizations, and communities. Numerous studies conducted in the recent past indicate significantly that a majority of internet users today, spend most of their time in the social media websites, contrary to the past when there was little knowledge about such platforms.Gauging by such occurrences, it is absolute that social media has revolutionized internet use and communication a great deal. Based on these observations, this paper addresses the risks and benefits of Social Media in Government.
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Ideally, participation in social media has increased substantively to an extent that its use has gone beyond mere sharing of information and ideas, but instead, it has become a platform for career opportunities and a monetary income generation platform. Considering such a perspective, it is evident that social media has brought about substantive differences as compared to the traditional media in many ways. These include aspects such as the quality, usability, performance, and frequency. Largely, social media has contributed more benefits than risks in making communication easier and faster. Despite this fact, it has faced criticism from various angles based on its exclusiveness. This attributes to the fact that no other sites offer a platform of information transfer from an individual to another as compared to the other sites. This has raise numerous questions regarding the content, trustworthiness, and reliability of the information distributed among individuals.
There are various social media sites; however, the most common among users are twitter, Facebook, keek and Instagram.From these sites, various people are able to connect with each other and hence a means through which people are able to communicate with each other from everywhere. Amongst the above sites, Facebook is the leading in popularity considering the wide user base it enjoys. From its development, social media's main intention was to connect friends, families, and business associates, though; it later expanded to numerous individuals from everywhere. Other people are also able to make new friends over the social media, hence influencing the society significantly.
Benefits of Social Media on Government
Social media has both its benefits and risks depending on how various individuals perceive its use. On the same margin, the government is not been left and hence experiences of both the positives and the negatives of social media. There are various benefits and risks of social media in government and below are numerous discussions pertaining to each. Social networking tools play an important part in government, despite the security risks that are associated with it. For example, through social media, the police are able to conduct various criminal investigations in instances in which evidence is available online, such as when criminals communicate with each other via messages in social media.
Many governments embrace social media as a means through which they are able to connect to various stakeholders and agencies with which they work in solidarity. Regardless of the particular social media website used, there is a definite benefit of enhanced communication and engagement level in the social media platform. A good example of social media use attributing to its benefits in government is during campaigns in which government officials are able to use social media for personal gains. From interviews conducted,it is evident a majority of people usually like following and making friends with various famous government personalities. This enables these individuals gain significant fame among the subjects.
A majority of people using social media regard politics articles as some of the most important articles viewed by various individuals. Through such means, the government is able to interact freely with its citizens, hence getting their opinions on the various government services through the responses they receive on their posts. Through this, the government is able to initiate changes in various aspects that do not impress the citizens. Social media therefore observes the benefit of establishing citizen and public engagement.
Considering that a majority of people also view advertisements on the social media, the government is able to save on advertisement costs in making public advertisements considering the large views observed on social media by the public.Additionally, through social media, different government employees are able to connect with other and share with each other concerning their problems and benefits. Through such means, they are able to champion for appropriate solutions regarding the various problems they face. From such engagements, the employees can facilitate change in the various activities they engage in. the greatest benefits of social media in government is the aspect of information dissemination and exchange. Information distribution is hence, enhanced within various government agencies, facilitating for quality and efficient service delivery to citizens. This enables the government to avail certain important news through articles and advertisements to the public.
Risks of Social Media on Government
From another perspective, there are numerous risks associated with social media in government with a majority attributing to security. Ideally, social media is still a developing means of communication and hence the best of practices and not yet established and as well not a common sense to many. Evidently, there are various practices that individual would never engage themselves in public, such practices are forgotten when it comes to social media. Considering that no effective regulative measures are developed with regard to social media usage, this platform has portrayed more risks.
Social media accounts usually contain individual's personal information and hence quite risky if unintended users have access to such. In the case of the government, a hacker might get access to vital information such as matters that pertain to security that might jeopardize the security situation of the nation. Lack of appropriate regulatory measures in the use of social media contributes significantly towards the increased risks associated with social media in government. Judging by the fact that the content of information posted on social media is never accurate at all times, there is a possibility of individual starting some rumors against the government. Since numerous people are able to view or even,make comments on such posts, there is a possibility of destruction of government's reputation based on false information posted on social media considering that the metrics of social media usage in governments usually involve very popular and crowded websites.
Social media is not workable without any network access and hence in instances in which there is internet failure, individuals are cutout from any communication. Based on the perspective that government uses social media extensive through establishing a broader engagement platform with the public, through which they are able to communicate various information to its citizens. Ideally, communication is very important part of an engagement processes and hence in instances in which any breakdown occurs because of lack of internet,there is the result of lack of communication.
Social media is very effective for various government agencies;however, this is only possible in instances in which appropriate regulative measures are made a priority. Government employees are usually representatives of the government and hence any information received from such information received from such individuals is considered government's opinion on certain matters. Social media is hence very risky in government especially when there are divisions in various government agencies. This results in individuals communicating varied information regarding the government, which is a sign of government's instability in managing issues. Social media is a communication platform all over the world and hence posts made by individuals are viewed everywhere. Information regarding the security details of a particular government may be accessible to outside enemies who might take the opportunity of attacking such a government.
A majority of people tend to spend more of their time in social media from where they are able to share varied information and ideas with each other. This is very destructive for government employees, when they ignore their duties to spend their time on social media. There are also instances in which government controlled accounts on social media are hacked leading to the leak of crucial and confidential government information. This was evident during the wiki leaks, when very vital government information reached the unintended public domain. This is a great security risk on the side of the government, judging by the fact that such information may reach terrorists or even other criminals.
Social media usage is substantively high hence in instances in which activists protest against some government activities, there is the possibility of such activism arousing public protest spontaneously, which is very risky for a government. This can usually result into recurrent protests and unrests among the citizens. Protests in many occurrences have resulted into economic instability for many governments. Public protests are always recurring occurrences and with the frequency of information access in social media platforms, there are absolutely higher chances of government's instability by such protests,which are very disastrous for governments as there are possibilities of them being toppled or overthrown.