Selfies in the upcoming elections
How well suited are tech giants' online platforms for spreading political messages?
According to De Groene Amsterdammer’s recent article, if politicians want to score points on Instagram, it is better to indulge their audience with a selfie instead of posting merely an image with a substantive message. Figures seem to be more important than the content since photos showing the faces of politicians are more likely to appear high in a voter’s timeline, therefore causing that in political discussions, messages will be shown to fewer people than selfies. As the Dutch general election of members is scheduled for next week (17 March) the fact that “text is punished while selfies are rewarded” has become a relevant issue.
Election campaigns are taking place predominantly online this year. But how well suited are the online platforms of tech giants for spreading political messages? Can we believe these firms (such as Facebook) when they claim that the personal timelines of their users are completely free of algorithm bias?
IMPAKT’s project, the ‘Right to Know’ the Summit invites discussion on how digital media engulfing our daily lives are now accessible in not only new but perhaps previously unimagined ways. Such accessibility also creates new forms of openness and malleability blurring the lines between the hack, the hoax and the objective. Two decades into our life within the World Wide Web, a much wider and more diverse group of users has emerged using the Net as a central arena of critical socio-political activity.