As a student, we spend more of our times on social media. Social media undeniable play an important role for us, young voters to make their decision in GE14. For Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH), social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and so on are likely a battlefield to win over voters, especially the undecided young voters. Here are some of the effects of using social media to update the latest issues and development in the GE14.The effect of using social media to get latest issues is fake news. For example, Facebook users most likely to share post that contained their own opinion and interest.
Some individuals or groups that have biased views towards some parties will share false news about the parties. This can be harmful as societies normally believe in information that triggers their emotion rather than the actual facts. We typically use Facebook to get latest information about GE14. We had been updated by the new post on Facebook, either in text or videos once we open the apps. And, we will give our feedback by “Like” their post to show our agreement. Sometimes we also comment on their post and share it.
But we usually forward the posting to our close friends or mentioned their name in the comments instead of share it to public. Besides, we will follow our preferential political candidates on Facebook. This is very easy because once we click on the “Like” button; we will receive news and updates from the candidates. From Facebook, we also connected to other information sources, such as online news, television live programme and YouTube videos about GE14 through the link that share by other users.
Facebook made it easy for us to get more information because once the topic is hot; it will show on the notifications button. However, if we did not filter the information share on Facebook, we will influenced by fake news. The second effect of gaining information from social media is originality. For example, many YouTube uploaders tend to upload videos mixed with entertainment rather than the original one. They changed the audio of the contents and sometimes mixed with others content and made confused of the messages of the videos. The editing of the videos will not so obvious when the editor is professionals. YouTube is an important channel for us to get latest videos about GE14. We usually do not watch television, but from YouTube we also can catch up latest news.
The television stations in Malaysia have their own channel in YouTube. We can watch live speech or campaign by the parties through YouTube. For example, during GE14, we will subscribe Buletin Utama (TV3), Astro Awani and Berita Nasional RTM channel to get more information. The best thing about watching on YouTube is the videos can be replay unlike television programme.
In addition, we can easily find videos as popular search engines such as Google contains YouTube videos in their search results. Both BN and PH will promotes their candidates by uploaded their campaign work in YouTube. Same as Facebook, we also will filtered the information that we get. We choose the candidates based on their manifesto instead of choosing their parties. We also will make comparison based on our observations on both parties’ candidates. The other effect of using social media to get updated is brain-washed.
Whatapps is used by many Malaysians to communicate with family and close friends, including students. So, firstly we will share the information that we get from other sources to family and friends to ask for their opinions, and same goes to family and friends. We tend to believe the content because the sharing is by people that we know and trust the more. For example, we can see the effects of using Whatapps by discussed the political parties that we chose and political parties that our family chose in group chats.
We also will have deep discussion about elections with our friends whether they will vote or not in GE14. Whatapps give direct impact towards our choice based on people that close to us. Our family and friends try to convince us to choose the same party to vote. The impact of Whatapps was not as huge as Facebook, but the chances to influence our decision making process indeed larger than others social media. Based on agenda-setting theory by McCombs and Shaw (1972), we can see that during G14, social media not only used to seek public’s attention but also influence the communication process between political parties and voters.
Priming occurs when social media acts as a platform to judge the political parties in GE14. Social media broaden our view and understanding on some information and give us another perspective to finalize our choices. Social media also focus our attention towards GE14 and all the news related to it. The relation between this theory with our study is from social media we gain more information that probably shape our minds on voting. We keep updating ourselves with the latest developments in order to know the possibilities of both political parties to win the election.
McCombs and Shaw also stated that editors, broadcasters and newsroom staff had a main role in giving out information. Framing occurs when the information presented give impact to people’s decision making process. Functioned like a frame, social media tell us how to think about the issues.
Journalists can manipulate the information differently from the actual messages and influence the pictures we have in our minds. For example, in our study we find out that social media will produce false news to influence voters’ opinions about the political parties.