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Is social media being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states? Show more Show less
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The 2016 US Presidential election saw the use of fake news to concentrate polarising content in swing states, and to intimidate certain groups of people into not showing up to vote. Under the extreme pressure of the 2020 Presidential elections, is social media being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states?

Yes, social media is being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states Show more Show less

Social media is being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states. Polarising content is being used for voter suppression and foreign states are influencing the 2020 election.
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Social media has made it easier to target specific areas anonymously

Social media is being used to target the disenfranchised in swing states. Online, people can post anonymously and easily to influence election outcomes and sway people's opinions.
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Context

Voter suppression is related to efforts, both legal and illegal, used to prevent eligible voters from exercising their right to vote.

The Argument

Traditionally, disinformation was circulated through narrows geographical targeting such as posting flyers through letter boxes and putting posters up on telephone poles in certain neighbourhoods. Now, social media platforms and the internet have made it even easier and more affordable to reach massive amounts of people very quickly and anonymously. Some actors may use sophisticated microtargeting software to specifically focus on certain groups of the population.[1] They are now able to direct disinformation towards both a national audience, and towards a local audience to disrupt politics.

Counter arguments

In today’s extremely connected world, it is harder and harder for people to maintain their privacy. The notion of "anonymity" is therefore invalid. It is easier than ever for people to find out personal information about a person using a single fact as a starting point. We are living in a golden age of surveillance and it is therefore not easy to target specific groups of people under the guise of anonymity.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/digital-disinformation-and-vote-suppression
This page was last edited on Saturday, 24 Oct 2020 at 17:01 UTC

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