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From a personal standpoint, technology use accelerates as traditional media give way to digital ones in the globe. The political sector has adopted technology as a means of connecting with voters, enhancing the credibility of elections, and carrying out other political activities. Technology makes work simpler and communication better. The majority of the time, it is successful, but there are drawbacks as well, like system hijacking and political trolling. This essay evaluates the recent political actions taking place online. As a result, it emphasizes some instances of recent political online activity.One instance of online political activity is when parties create databases to target voters during elections. It is when parties incorporate the use of technological methods rather than the usual ads, speeches, and debates, to attract voters. In the 2015 election campaign in Canada, data analytics experts were hired by the oppositions to coordinate the campaigns. The analysis was supposed to identify the supporters and find ways of getting them to the ballot box. The method of developing data strategies focused on individual voters was seen as a natural evolution from the traditional way of campaigning that parties used (Delany, 2016).
Moreover, another instance of online political activities is seen when political parties and interest groups organize online fundraisers. However, with technology, there is software that is available that can be used by campaigners to get money from supporters. Politicians prefer online fundraisers since it is a huge benefit to them as they have an advantage of accessing the money instantly. Accounting and reporting on the donation details are also simplified as the details go directly into the database. The given method has been used in several campaigns like the Obama campaign. It allows for those people who cannot make huge donations to make their small donations which in turn become huge (Ginsberg, Lowi, Weir & Tolbert, 2016).
Hacking of voter rolls is another example of online political activity which has been used as a tool of political distraction. Since most countries have adopted the digital voting where the details of voters are keyed into systems, it is easier for the systems to be hacked by those who do not mean well. This way, they can delete details of some voters so that they are not able to vote. Such a scenario was witnessed in North Carolina in the 2016 U.S elections where some voters were turned away at polling stations and told they were ineligible to vote. The problem was said to have been brought by some sort of tampering with the systems (Wines, Perlroth & Rosenberg, 2017).
The last example of online political activity is social media trolling. It is another tool of political distraction or division that has been used by political rivals. Such a case was seen in the 2016 U.S elections when Russians used social media in trying to divide Americans by spreading pro Donald Trump messages and bringing up controversial topics that promote division such as Islam phobia and immigration. There were interactions between the Russian imposters and millions of American voters who thought they were interacting with their fellow Americans.
From the given illustrations, it is evident that as much as the use of technology in politics has various advantages of improving communication between voters and politicians and making campaigns efficient, there exist inherent challenges.
Delany, C. (2016). Online Fundraising 101. Campaignsandelections.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017, from https://campaignsandelections.com/campaign-insider/online-fundraising-101
Ginsberg, B., Lowi, T., Weir, M., & Tolbert, C. (2016). We the people. W. W. Norton & company.
Wines, M., Perlroth, N., & Rosenberg, M. (2017). Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/us/politics/russia-election-hacking.html
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