When it comes to debating world issues, modern society has become more comfortable with openly stating their various thoughts and opinions on social media. Hiding behind an HD screen provides a sense of obscurity and comfort creating the freedom to post whatever the user wants to post. This freedom can be used for good by beginning a discussion on important social issues, such as the Australian wildfires that occurred in January and how they may relate to climate change. By providing insight on this topic over social media platforms, it contributes towards education and spreads different views and ideas to anyone who has access to the post. Although there are many positive aspects about discussing important topics over social media, anything regarding politics has become an excuse to fight one another. Socially, America has divided itself into two sides with no room or want for compromise. In such a heated political climate, any post even remotely regarding or hinting towards somebody’s political views is quick to be spammed by slander and arguments. What political subjects used to be open to discussion and education are now an immediate internet confrontation with no questions asked.
With social media becoming a necessary form of communication and world connection, many politicians and world leaders have created their own accounts, making it easier for them to speak on subjects without the disconnect of the media. With direct thoughts being projected onto a social and going viral, these politicians can reach the public on a more personal level. Regardless of beliefs or views, most politicians use their socials for the same outcome, which is to reach a larger audience. It is difficult to state that these politicians may be using their socials in a negative manner, because there is no such thing as a correct way to use social media, but there are some issues that may be considered inappropriate to cover over a social media account.
There is a difference between a news outlet producing content on their socials and a political individual. News accounts are generally neutral in politics and deliver hard news as they receive updates, whereas individual accounts are saturated in bias. For those who follow these individuals, a political opinion can be misinterpreted as a fact very easily. It is arguable to say that this may be the new modern way of marketing for a political figure, and such opinions are posted simply because they will draw in both negative and positive attention. The old saying ‘bad publicity is still publicity’ resonates with how these posts are received. When it comes to political campaigns for an election, utilizing social media is one of the best forms of marketing available right now. It is free and disposable throughout the entire world making it incredibly easy to spread an individual message to a wide-ranged audience without having to work that hard.
Political figures simply using their social media platforms to promote their individual message is understandable and also expected. Just like any business or personal profile, every user is advertising something on their page in hopes to attract a targeted audience. A post that says ‘Vote for me!’ is not what users usually consider to be controversial, but since the introduction of President Trump’s questionable style of tweeting, there are now prime examples of how such self-promotion on social media can become quite dangerous. Throughout President Trump’s time in office, his Twitter has become a hotbed for jokes and debates on whether his style of tweeting should be stopped. Although his Twitter provides quality memes at times, this past January provides another case on how he wrongfully uses his social media presence.
On the first day of the new year, the world woke up to the news of President Trump’s strike against the Commander of Iranian forces, Qassim Suleimani. Immediately following this breaking news, the internet blew up with various reactions. Some stated that this was cause for the President’s impeachment, there were worries and threats regarding the beginning of WWIII, there were jokes about the possibilities of a new World War, and some supported this attack. Overall, the typical reactions of anguish and making jokes out of a serious situation were normal posts to see on social media, and no matter the stance, every user was waiting to see what the President would tweet about his decision. As one of the most unabashedly outspoken Presidents in history, Trump typically utilizes his Twitter to insult or cause tension. So once he finally tweeted about the strike against Iran, nobody was surprised to see that it stated, “Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently....”, and continued this announcement in a thread, never truly stating this decision, but instead threatening all of Iran, “Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, we have.........targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”. In choosing to tweet this thread, President Trump began the discussion of WWIII, clearly doing everything to provoke a reaction. The main issue behind this decision is that handling a discussion regarding anything to do with an attack, or threat of war, is not a topic that should be handled and announced over Twitter. Bringing forth a discussion that should solely be handled between these world leaders onto a social media platform is a completely inappropriate way to handle the situation, which only became worse as Iran replied in the comments with photos of their flags, causing even more of a public uproar than it did before. In a New York Times article, President Trump’s hypocrisy shows in this statement, “I don’t think that would be a good idea for Iran. It wouldn’t last very long,” Mr. Trump said. “Do I want to? No. I want to have peace. I like peace”, because if this were the case then he would have most likely tweeted something completely different that had nothing to do about provoking a war.
Whether an individual supports President Trump or not, it is clear that this situation escalated to the discussion of a possible WWIII because it was handled over social media. Although the new modern age makes it easier to reach a wide audience by posting over social media, and many people get their news from their socials, this post was inappropriate regarding the severity of the situation. One simple tweet may have caused an elongated dispute between the United States and Iran when there should have been a private discussion amongst the two.
|@Sierra Swanson||@sierrajoan||@sierrajoan_|| @sierrajoan_