Essay on Politics and Social Media

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1434 Words
Date:  2022-05-09

Part A: Background of the political story

The editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay about Zuckerberg claiming that regulation on social media firm is inevitable came after the news went public that the government would be putting regulations on the use of different social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which are some of the well-known social media platforms worldwide. The internet is one of the fastest growing platforms of communication for people around the world. Other than just communication, the internet is also used for business and political issues in America and the whole world in general. As a result, when Zuckerberg confirmed that regulation on the use of internet would be inevitable, this stirred a lot of mixed feelings in the public.

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Although the reason for the regulation as he stated is to protect the personal information from being compromised by malicious people, the public is afraid that this is not such a good move. The people are concerned that their personal data on the different social Media will be openly exposed to the government and the lawmakers. The reason is that the public is not sure yet of the inevitable regulations that are going to be put in place. The public feels that this may be an invasion of privacy. The concern started when the federal government started investigating Facebook where they suspected that some of the social media platforms were being used in the spreading of Russian disinformation during the presidential campaign in 2016.

As a result, although the federal government is taking some significant steps to clamp down Facebook and other social media platforms, it is not quite evident how they will do it or how this will affect the company and the public at large. Although the Facebook Company has no responsibility and way to regulate the content that is shared on the platform, they admit that time has come for there to be regulations that will guide their users on what to share on the internet. From all the scandal and the issues around this issue, the government is concerned about the spread of fake news and Russian disinformation while the public is users of the different platforms are concerned with their privacy and the security of the data on these platforms.

It is worth mentioning that it is wrong that there is hate speech that could lead to a political war between the United States and Russia. Therefore, the federal government is mainly concerned with the carelessness displayed by the organization during the 2016 election when false information was shared through this technology (Jalonick & Ortutay, 2018). Additionally, hate speech that would lead to war between nations was shared which becomes the concern of the federal government. In the bid to investigate and find out the truth about the content shared on the platform, the government together with the founder of the enormous platform has found it important to create regulations that will protect its users from being compromised by malicious people.

Part B: Artistic Analysis of the Political Cartoon

The editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay shows an eagle with a human head. The eagle is standing firm on a Facebook sign. Its human head is sadly looking at a cage that is specially made to lock the eagle and all its operations. On one side, there are the hands pointing to the direction of the cage. The hands look like those of very powerful men in the society. On the other side are decayed bones of privacy. From the bones, it is evident that the public's privacy is decayed and does not exist anymore (MacKay, 2018). It looks like a very factious cartoon drawing but it passes a lot of information and addresses the different issues that could be experienced if the regulation on the internet and social media platforms are actualized.

From the cartoon, it is evident that the author views the regulation policy by the government as a way to invade and kill the privacy of the people. In essence, it true that when the regulations on social media and especially Facebook are actualized, the federal government will have access to every users' information. As a result, the users will no longer have privacy and security of data while using these platforms such as Facebook. From the cartoon drawing as the privacy of the public of the users is suppressed and slowly starved to death, the regulators or policymakers are left health with all the information they think should be regulated caged.

In essence, from the image, it is evident that the government and policymakers are looking to regulate Facebook and other social media platforms. The move is set to monitor all the conversations, dealings, and interactions with the public who are the main users of these platforms. The government with be able to invade the privacy and the security of data that is on these platforms. As a result, Facebook and other social media platforms will no longer offer the privacy that they have always offered to its users in the past. The federal government has also not specified the regulations that they will enact on the content shared on the platform. Therefore, it is not known how far they will go in depriving the users their right to privacy.

Part C: Course Application

Key term 1: Regulation

Regulation is a rule or a directive made by the authorities to control or manage certain operations among the people. In political science, regulation is seen to lack shared understanding among the different stakeholders. In this case, the federal governments together with the lawmakers are working to regulate Facebook and other social media platforms to prevent cases of hate speech and false information passed that would cause political strain between nations. The public, on the other hand, feels that the government will be invading their privacy and security of data in these platforms. Additionally, when making regulations there is no defined limit for the lawmakers (McGarry & O'leary, 2013). Regulations are also intentionally and directly made to monitor or put in a standard setting for the people whether public or privately affected by the enactment such as the regulation on social media that affects even private entrepreneurs such as Facebook.

Key term 2: Social Media and Internet

Social media and the internet is the way of where people from different world interact. Social media platforms are mainly used by the young generation but the older generation is also slowly joining in the move. Social media has platforms have offered a chance for political participation through social networking that has become a sensitive matter for America and Russia and especially during the 2016 election campaigns. Due to lack of adequate monitoring of the platforms, it has allowed room for negative activities such as hate speech that has affected the American government. As a result, they have found it necessary to create regulations that will manage the content shared on the platforms. However, social media is supposed to be secure and safe for use. However, when a regulation to monitor content on the platforms is enacted, then this right will be greatly undermined by the government. As a result, ant data on the social media platforms will be exposed to the government thus losing its safety and security.

Key term 3: Lawmakers

Lawmakers are the legislators or people who write and pass laws. These are mainly politicians who are elected by the people or the state to manage and enact the law. Therefore, law and politics in America is deeply entangled and therefore almost considered as one. The law is essential for every government to run its operations and to lead its people. In the case of enacting regulations on Facebook and other social media platforms, it is important to note that the law and the government are all but one thing. Therefore, when the laws to regulate social media activities are left to the government to make, the public is bound to suffer. The government could decide the extents they think are best according to them (Volden & Wiseman, 2014). As a result, the public is right to fear for their right of privacy on these platforms since regulating content will mean undermining privacy and security of data.


McGarry, J., & O'leary, B. (Eds.). (2013). The politics of ethnic conflict regulation: Case studies of protracted ethnic conflicts. Routledge.

Volden, C., & Wiseman, A. E. (2014). Legislative Effectiveness in the United States Congress: The Lawmakers. Cambridge University Press.

MacKay, G. (2018, April 12). Zuckerberg: regulation of social media firms is 'inevitable'. The Hamilton Spectator.

Jalonick, M., & Ortutay, B. (2018, April 12). Zuckerberg: Regulation 'inevitable' for social media firms. World News.

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