Do You Believe Everything You Read?

For years, I’ve heard the phrase “you can’t believe everything you read”. Though this phrase originally applied to untrustworthy information in print media, in current times it’s most applicable to information shared via social media. Facebook has been at the forefront of this investigation of the spread of false information, which was put on the […]

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Land of the Free, Home of the Tweet?

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Agenda Setting Theory was put forth by Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw in 1972. This theory suggests that the media sets the public agenda. It is not a matter of what is being said in the media, but what topics or stories should be talked about. With social media on the rise, it seems there may be a shift from power of the media to power of the people, so what does this mean for politicians?

I would first advise politicians to utilize social media carefully. It may sound silly, but as a public figure you are already under a microscope and an individuals credibility can easily be damaged if used frivolously. Your mother wasn’t kidding when she said, “don’t post it on social media unless you want it on the front page of the newspaper.”

Today, politics in general have taken over social media allowing social media users to join the open-ended conversation. Another piece of advice I would offer to politicians is to utilize social media but to do so strategically and keep their personal life out of the conversation. Social media is so instantaneous that one post can hinder credibility and opinions and personal life can quickly get tied into the media agenda or what is being talked about.

With agenda setting power shifting toward consumers, politicians certainly should check themselves before they wreck themselves.



McCombs, M. (2003). The agenda-setting role of the mass media in the shaping of public opinion. University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved from    Send article as PDF   
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Beyond Facebook

The recent debate surrounding the “Fake News” circulating on Facebook has began to change the way we, as a society, consume our social media. Trump Says Twitter and Facebook Are Interfering in 2018 Election — (@HillReporter) September 5, 2018 This shift in the overwhelming quantity of shady sources circulating on our timelines has […]

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Fighting the Fake

Amidst a world where social media sites track our every like, post, share and search, the publics’ privacy has never seemed less private. In fact, with the use of big data, bots, artificial intelligence and so on, the line between private and public has never been more blurred. We unknowingly ‘accept’ the terms and conditions […]

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The Social Media Problem

On Wednesday September 5th, Jack Dorsey the CEO of Facebook and Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Twitter testified before the Senate intelligence committee on “Foreign Influence Operations’ Use of Social Media Platforms.” Based on the statement made in the hearing, misinformation in social media, both foreign and domestic, is a huge problem that doesn’t have a simple, […]

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