SOCIAL MEDIA : THE POWER OF POLITICAL ASCENDANCY (1)

Few weeks ago, I enjoyed reading some facts regarding how social media changed society, The Second EDSA Revolution (EDSA II) was a four-day political protest from 17th-20th January 2001 that peacefully overthrew the government of Joseph Estrada, the election of Barack Obama as President of the US in 2008, Protests against the Moldovan Parliamentary Election 2009, The anti-austerity movement in Spain also referred to as the 15-M Movement 2011, the so-called revolutionary wave of stoppage and protests “Arab Spring” in the Middle East in 2010-2011, and the “Occupy Wall Street” protest movement that started in Zuccotti Park, located in NYC’s Wall street financial district, also in 2011, all have in common? They have all used social media to help shape such protests and mobilize their responsible reps. Yet these were much more than just about arranging a party they all greatly exploited social media to establish communication networks and move towards their intent. Social Media has hotfoot grown in importance as a forum for political activism in its different conformation. Social media platforms, such as Functional and versatile websites, blogs,Facebook, YouTube and Twitter provide new ways to vitalizing citizen engagement in political life, where elections and electoral campaigns have a central role. Social media has diversified the whole structures of concurrent political communication by influencing the way politicians interact with citizens and with each other. However, the role of this phenomenon in increasing political engagement and electoral participation is neither coherent nor elementary .

In Finland, Videos from YouTube were predicted to play a major part in party campaigns for parliamentary election 2007. Tom Carlson and Kim Strandberg have researched the use of social media, found that the consequence YouTube had on the election results and the voters behavior was marginal.

After the 30th October 2011 Lahore get-together of PTI, PML-N’s echelons were terribly distressed, due to strong campaigning on social media sites PTI rise as a powerful alternative political force in Pakistan.

Every campaign or project comes down to Tactics, Tools and Strategies to originate and to execute a sound strategic plan that would lead to success. While the PMLN were busy making plans that have been tried and proven successful, PTI starts campaign on social media sites (Twitter,Facebook,SMS etc). PTI have exercise all kinds of maneuvers including engaging hundreds of social media workers who were given the charge of making new PTI pages on facebook, PTI leadership’s official accounts on twitter and running character assassination campaigns against PMLN, PPP, MQM and JUIF, who paid them? Doesn’t matter these are modern campaigning method so nothing wrong with them, PTI SMT start abusing in response to Imran Khan’s opponent’s criticism they didn’t even spare senior journalists, anchor person, analysts, judiciary, Female politicians etc then we witnessed that the thrust of PTI SMT all fall down and now things at the political landscape are changing swiftly in the favor of other political parties.

There were over 20 million internet users from Pakistan in 2013 including 17.4 million(approx) social media users. In 2001, around 1.3% population of the country were using internet. By the end of 2006, figure had raised to 6.5% and in 2012, it had reached to 10%. From 1990 to 2013 average value for Pakistan was 4.59 percent with a minimum of 0 percent in 1990 and a maximum of 10.9 percent in 2013, According to a report internet users have crossed 30 million slab at present including 80% social media users. At present, 11% of the population is using internet in Pakistan. (Source: world bank, ExpressTribune)

Digital economy is rapidly growing everywhere. Pakistan has been rather slow on the uptake but the PML-N government must be credited for giving it a boost by auctioning the long-awaited 3G and 4G telecom spectrum. Not only has the government earned about $1 billion from this auction, but this also helped internet penetration achieve a phenomenal growth of over 300% within a year. The number of internet subscriptions increased from a meager 3.8 million in June 2014 to 16.9 million by June 2015. (Source: Express Tribune)

TO BE CONTINUED….

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