More than ever, any citizen in the world can immerse themselves through social media in global news and global politics. This is why a recent article covering the 2011 Mexican elections by PBS “Media Shift” captured my interest.
Many economist today will make the argument that Mexico is becoming an emerging economy through its rise in international exports, however many would argue the contrary. The country has witnessed currency devaluations, a surge in drug cartels and political corruptions all under the twentieth century. Today, Mexico is experiencing yet another controversial election year stirred with controversy and corruption. The same political parties running but with a twist. There is a new party in town… and no… not a new political party. They call themselves “#Yosoy 132” and they assert themselves as being an ongoing Mexican protest movement centered around the democratization of the country and its media. They began their movement as an opposition to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Pena Nieto and the Mexican media’s allegedly biassed coverage of the 2012 general election. Through unconventional means, #Yosoy132 is exchanging blows at the political election with hashtags, Youtube, Facebook and they are successfully turning the heads of the global pundits.
Important to note, #Yosoy132 is not the first to flex their muscle by way of social media. The recent Egyptian protest was made famous through a youtube video where a citizen was killed on the streets and viewed millions of times all over the world in a matter of only seconds. The role of social media is critical because it helps to spread cognitive dissonance by connecting thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens rapidly expanding the network of people who become willing to take action.
In brief, the PBS article does a great job of describing the events and implications of #Yosoy132 in Mexico however it leaves out an unspoken reality in today’s modern global politics. Today’s reality doesn’t allow for public illusions to happen. Politician’s can have the best manipulative voting strategies and media alliances but the simple truth is that today’s modern politics can no longer architect elections…
User generated content has broken into today’s global information fabric and as a result, nothing can be hidden or turned into a public media spin… for hundreds of years, elections have been manipulated through the means of media alliances, wealthy connections and so forth..
It’s today that many must beg the question… will social media finally democratize the election process?