Social media: A trend or threat to democracy?
The recent trend of democratization and the advancement in the information and communication technology have created a lot of awareness on the global development towards the social media. This situation has recently attracted a huge interest from researchers particularly in the field of social sciences. The emergence of the social media in contemporary times is changing the face of governance and democracy. In spite of the deep-rooted cultures of secrecy in the polity particularly in the political and bureaucratic hierarchies, the social media as a trend is fast becoming a veritable tool for a transformational agenda for transparency and accountability which are the pillars of democracy and good governance. Apart from being a revolutionary tool, the social media surreptitiously appears to be a potential risk and threat to democracy. Based on the foregoing, this paper examines two main issues. First, social media and democracy; and second the emerging trend of social media and its threat to democracy. In view of the almost lack of regulation and censorship on the social media, the paper posits that democracy may further be undermined on a larger scale with far reaching consequences if stakeholders in the polity are not sensitized on the possible negative effect of the social media.
Keywords: Democracy, good governance, social media, information and communication technology