Facebook in the coming years: A fraud in political change and regime identity

Avatar Aicha Enriquez
Member since October 2, 2013
  • 2 Posts
  • Age 25

Facebook in a nutshell

Facebook started in the United States as a medium for some college kids to stay in touch after leaving campus. Since then, it has evolved and became one of the largest social networks in the world.

An extensive, sprawling network, Facebook has managed to reach every household and every pocket. Established in 2004 from Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room in Harvard, this popular social networking site is now worth billions of dollars and is considered as one of the world's most recognizable brands.

The emerging role of Facebook in political change around the world

While Facebook plays an important part in communication and in making the world a digital village, it also serves as an effective medium in political change. One particular function of Facebook in state affairs is its undeniable vast reach during uprisings and revolutions. Facebook netizens are just one click away from initiating, engaging and concluding an upheaving.

In Moldova, activists used Facebook to launch their political revolution to bring attention the state unrest in the Soviet republic. Meanwhile in the Arab world, 15,000 people through a Facebook group entitled, "In favour of ousting the Lebanese secretariat system -- towards a secular system" managed to unite in expelling their current government. It was also through this social media giant that Egypt brought on an insurgence. Safe to say, Facebook intensified and accelerated the magnitude of the grievances of the rebels making their attempt to a regime change possible.

But it is not only in between the uprisings and revolutions that this particular social networking site has immensely played an increasingly important role. For everything begins by voting and in casting a ballot, one has declared his or her political statement. With this, Facebook took the spotlight as the ultimate platform ground during the election period. While mutinies and other forms of subversion are necessary factors in the state affairs, the election period is also considered as one of the most significant aspects in political change and regime.

But the question arises on how these sham political plans influence the minds of the voters; how can we be swayed by apparent marketing and advertising strategies? While we are able to take a peek in the insides and forwards of political personalities through their Facebook pages and accounts. But withholding everything else, we forget that all of these are counterfeit faces made to persuade us into believing them; everything is mapped to false advertising and trickery. Hence, our imprecise decisions during the most crucial day of political change: election day.

We can decipher the reason as to why our minds can be easily penetrated by these feigned politicians-- constant ‘facework’ on Facebook.

Facework on Facebook

In an article entitled, Facework on Facebook: The presentation of self in virtual life and its role in the US elections, the Facebook profile is defined as the virtual and visual incarnation of the self. Social attributes are represented through the cultural capital and relationships displayed on the profile which solidify an individual's membership within various groups. “Facework” according to Goffman is "the actions taken by a person to make whatever he is doing consistent with their face."

Taking the idea of face that is one's sense of prestige, value and personal reputation, Goffman explains that we maintain face when we "present an image of ourselves that is internally consistent, that is supported by judgments and evidence conveyed by other participants."

Hence, Facebook users constantly work on preserving a "face." A Facebook consumer has to make sure that all the events and snapshots posted in his/her social circle is consistent with the face represented through their profile or accounts.

To cut it short, everyone on Facebook is in a perennial quest to keeping his or her so-called "face” whether you are a budding entertainer, a typical high school student, a single mother, an online entrepreneur, a lonely boy looking for a possible partner or a politician.

This concept works smoothly especially during the electoral season. As we have mentioned earlier, facework is responsible as to why the minds of the voters can be easily penetrated by feigned politicians and their sham platforms in attempt to cause political change.

Facebook as an integral part of Philippine elections

With the social network's incredibly high penetration in the Philippines, reaching 95%, there is no doubt that Facebook is the best option for politicians and budding lawmakers to serve their platforms. "The Social Networking Capital of the World," as named by a research conducted by 24/7 Wall Street, it is not surprising that the aftermath of the elections can be attributed to the wide usage of the social media giant during the electoral season.

Fraud is the unfeigned role of Facebook in political change and regime identity

Putting into consideration the idea of Facework and the entirety of the virtual world, we can conclude that every political platform presented to us on Facebook is fraud. Characterized by trickery and sham persuasion, every politician's eagerness to change the course of the Philippine politics laid down through this social networking site is within the concept of their self-gratification. Consequently, netizens, whether unaware or aware of Facework tend to base their political decisions and ballot choices through their timeline and that unknowingly, we fail to decrypt that we are being hypnotized by these politicians and their strategies to protect their identities during social exchanges.

Moving forward, if we will try and take a peek into the future of Facebook and its role in Philippine elections, given the perennial inappropriate use of the social networking site, political change through the process of voting will soon be backboned to utter fraud. Politicians will continuously try their best to keep their faces. They will take and take and leave the people's minds empty. In the long run, the fraud and trickery that Facebook is will be disguised into something we believe is true.

Through all these, our decision making of who to vote is highly influenced. While we believe in the idea that we are being treated with transparency because of these politicians’ constant attempts to make their platforms available in the most convenient way, we fail to realize that the concealed role of Facebook in political change actually comes with fraud and trickery.

Moreover, not all people on Facebook is aware of the social theory called facework. Thus, we accept the information we think we deserve. What is being handed to us, all the counterfeit and fake faces, we accept them all in the belief that these are all backed up with their truest intentions.

We fail to engage in political change. Our desire and search for the ideal regime identity is blocked with our longstanding blindness on the concealed role of Facebook.

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