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Friday, October 09, 2015

Is social media disconnecting politicians from voters?

There is interesting article in yesterday's Guardian in which they report on the views of Labour's Tristram Hunt. Hunt's views are informative because they are another dig at the Corbynistas from a disaffected former shadow cabinet member, but also because it makes a wider point that is worth further examination.

Hunt argues that the left’s use of social media is emboldening group mentalities and disconnecting activists from the views of the wider electorate:

Warning against “algorithm politics” where activists gravitate only to views that confirm their own, he will say: “If social media were politicising the many as well as radicalising the few; were it significantly growing the number of people engaged in politics in the first place, rather than confirming pre-held bias, then Ed Miliband might now be sitting in 10 Downing Street.”

“What people say to each other on the internet – and social media in particular – rewards strong, polarising opinions and primary coloured politics.

“Far from broadening the mind through access to the greatest library human beings have ever created, people’s experience of the internet is increasingly a narrow online world where anyone who puts their heads above the parapet can be the target of an anonymised digital mob.”

Although I spend a lot of time using social media, I would endorse these views. You need to keep perspective and as politicians we need to get out more and talk to ordinary people.
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