Mike Ko Personal Portfolio


Home-School Education
Hong Kong

University of Durham
Bachelor of Science
United Kingdom

2017 - 2018
United Kingdom

    Political Tweet Wars for Confusing the Public

         Social media is a powerful tool for organisations to communicate with the general masses, and the dominant political parties of the United Kingdom have certainly appreciated its value. The Conservative and Labour parties are particularly active in trumpeting their agendas and even trade jabs with each other. Sometimes they blame the opposing side for seemingly causing the same problem. For example, both parties recently accused each other on Twitter of curbing police budgets. It may not give unsuspecting citizens a better grasp of the situation, but these virtual shouting matches are all within the boundaries of typical public relations in politics.

         Even so, political communications on social media platforms are also quite different from those through traditional channels. For Twitter, post lengths and audiences’ attention span are both limited. Thus most ‘tweets’ from the political parties are often simple claims that may be accompanied by statistics seemingly plucked out of thin air. These posts cannot be immediately verified without delving into the relevant news coverage or even primary sources. General Internet users are probably not in the mood for such deep investigative work, which probably makes for an easier situation than giving explanations through interviews. The superficial nature of social media communications also means that it can be done quickly and frequently. Citizens are swamped by tweets daily from Twitter accounts of both the Conservatives and Labour, concerted attempts to bolster their position and discredit the other.

         These waves of shallow online dispatches from political parties effectively makes social media an unreliable platform of communication. Yet the irony is that our internet-dependent generation will quite likely be increasingly reliant on these platforms as their sources of information. The end result will be a less informed public that jumps to conclusions through black-and-white perspectives. It may not be in the public interest, but it certainly would be a boon for political parties.

Readings / Essays & Projects / Writing & Oral Practice / Brainstorm Maps /
Viewed Media / Seminars and Workshops

Back to Top