The democratization of social media attracts many people participate in news
spreading. However, everything has two sides. The democratization of social
media also has its pros and cons.
The democratization of social media helps news spread faster than tradition
form of news spreading. I recently read a news online. The news is about a
man killed his cousin and nephew which happened on Eighth Ave in Brooklyn,
NY. A week later, I saw this news again but not online. It is printed on
newspaper a week later from online. The form of social media in nowadays
encourages people join “citizen journalism” which spread news much faster than
Also, the democratization of social media allows variety of information to flow
around people. “Political or technical argument, gossip, scientific info, news flashes,
poetry, social arrangement, classrooms, repartee, scholarly references, bantering with
friends” all can be searched by anyone who is interested these type of information
( Rheingold ). For instance, I heard from the first day of class in the information
literacy course. A man created a website to search for a group of people who broke
into his house and had party in his house. Finally, more and more people joint to
catch these people. The people who broke into the man’s house were arrested not long
after the man created the website. It is a pretty good example to explain the pros of the
democratization of social media–people can search whatever they want and get
feedback on it.
On the other hand, the democratization of social media is not always good. The mixed
information online can be true, but sometimes it can be wrong. People who receive these
information need to have abilities to distinguish what is true and what is wrong, but most
of time they cannot pick the true information from the false information. Online sources
are mixed with right and wrong information, so people need to be careful to choose what
they want to receive.
Moreover, as the spread of citizen journalism, the politicians or other people can take
advantages of it to produce the news they want. Even in the report of climate changes,
“the public will hear a wide range of conflicting bits of scientific information” about
climate changes pushed by the political sources (john n-g). How people can decide to
trust which sources of information about climate changes? It is a big issue for people
to distinguish useful or useless information through the democratization of social media.
Rheingold, Howard. “Twitter Literacy (I Refuse to Make Up a Twittery Name for It).”
SFGate. Hearst Newspapers, 11 May. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
John n-g. “Scientific Meta-Literacy.” Houston Chronicle. Hearst Newspapers, 11 Feb.
2013. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.