Monday, March 31

The Influence of Social Media on Politics and World Events

I'm in the process of developing a course on social media that will be offered to our high school students in September. Needless to say, I am overjoyed that we've finally shed the "everything-having-to-do-with-social-media-is-bad-and-MUST-be-blocked" mentality. I'm thrilled that I'll have the opportunity to work with students on using social media for positive and productive purposes. One of the units that I'm working on is the influence of social media on politics and world events. We've seen a lot in the news lately on this very topic.
It wasn't that long ago that Anthony Weiner, American politician and former US Representative, made headlines with his involvement in several scandalous sexting incidents. These publicly-aired indiscretions caused him and his family untold embarrassment and marked the end of his political career as well.  
Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor who has become the favorite target of late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon, has made his mark on social media dos and don’ts (mostly don'ts). Mr. Ford, known for his heavy drug and alcohol use, has been viewed by thousands of “admirers”  on YouTube videos as he dances during a council session (warning - it isn't pretty).  I can't imagine that this helped his public image.

Oops, it's spring forward, fall back.

Just recently, Mr. Ford attempted to dispense some Daylight Savings Time advice to his Twitter followers. The problem was that he instructed them to turn back the clock the wrong direction. Needless to say, Mr. Ford has become the brunt of many jokes.

As social media is becoming more ingrained in our society it’s interesting to witness the influence that it's having on politics and world events. How has social media influenced politicians and world events? How are politicians and other world leaders positioning themselves with social media?  Hopefully they have learned a lesson or two from Mr. Weiner’s  and Mr. Ford’s social media snafus. 

The websites listed below are a few of the articles that I've come across on the topic of social media and politics/world events (thanks to those fabulous educators that I follow on Twitter). All these sites are available on my Diigo Library as well. I add new resources to my library fairly often so please visit and help yourself to any resources that you may find useful.

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