Social media and Political Propaganda – Stay Woke

Lately, I have been keeping up with the US congress investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and as an advocate of digital media, the revelations coming from this investigation leaves much to be desired.
 
According to the CSO of Facebook, over $100,000 was spent on Facebook ads by a Russian company to amplify divisive social and political messages and promote fake news in the build-up to the election.
A few days ago Facebook announced it will begin disclosing more about political ads that run on it’s network ahead of next week’s congressional hearings where they will testify about Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.  Facebook’s new policies include labeling political ads so they’re easier to identify, and creating a catalog of these and other ads so users can see how much political advertisers are paying and who they are targeting.
However, these changes intended to create more transparency don’t appear to address the most problematic ads purchased last year by Kremlin-backed, online trolls. These ads, referred to as “issue ads,” sought to stir social and political unrest in the United States around issues like Black Lives Matters and not necessarily to promote candidates like Donald Trump.
And that for me is a big concern. How do we handle propaganda especially during elections? How do we fight fake news?
 
Everything is possible in this brave new digital world and the struggle for control over access to information is the defining struggle of our times.
 
The growth of social media has transformed propaganda and now it’s nearly impossible to regulate or officiate it. Ironically, with the way we are engaging with social media on daily basis to share our views, we have all become propagandists!
 
Just recently I came across the post below here on Facebook.
 
This post is entirely false but unfortunately, has been shared but a lot of people.
 
We really need to take this thing very seriously. You need to protect yourself online. You need to control your narratives. Propaganda and communicating technology have evolved side by side and with every new way to spread information, the dissemination of propaganda is bound to evolve as well.
 
Whether you like it or not, Social Media has become a ‘vessel of propaganda and manipulation’. Do not be the one to cry foul! Be strategic! Let’s take care of your Online Reputation Management. Shoot us a mail at martin@mundus.ng let’s get talking.
 
Remember if you snooze, you lose!
 
Written by Martin Uwakwe, the lead strategist at Mundus Digital