Azrina Husin


This paper discusses the way politics is performed in the age of social media through popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. While these platforms function as a site for networking and information sharing, these sites also contain a wealth of data about the users ready to be mined by any interested parties, be it for political or economic gains. This feature is a characteristic of the present world brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As the world is increasingly becoming online, traditional way of doing and performing politics, ranging from practicing politics to communicating about politics, has changed. The paper outlines five interrelated ways in which politics are now performed online and the implications to governance and democracy. Following the argument of Neil Postman on public discourse in the age of television, this paper argues that in the age of social media, politics is now performed not only in an entertaining manner, but social media has also encouraged speculations and uncertainties among its citizens. Thus, while the potential for social media is there to increase political participation among citizens, it also carries with it the danger of creating a mis-informed public despite the wealth of political information available.

Keywords: social media, Neil Postman, performing politics

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