Marketing isn’t only used to market products and services, it’s also used to market ideas, opinions, beliefs, people, parties, political candidates, political systems, etc. Like the iceberg, a small part of which appears above water, is also digital marketing. Where the vast majority of it is not visible. We only see articles, publications or advertisements on social networks and websites, whether on computers or mobile phones. However, the non-visible digital marketing strategies, tools and principles are the most dangerous and most powerful ones, so this article will talk about the dark side of using digital marketing in politics.
In the Fundamentals of Political Analysis book by Philip Bullock, the best book in political science research, fundamentals and methods of political research that measure public opinion and determine the true size of supporters and opponents of an entity, personality, belief, or political system are covered in a particular segment of society.
With large parts of society represented on social networks, online platforms have become a powerful tool for political study and a means of measuring public opinion. Every interaction, like, negative or positive comment you make is recorded. Every search word or visit to a website or time spent on a page or watched video is recorded. Thus, an accurate dissection can be done for each segment of the electronic society to know their interest, fears and behavior and therefore the ability to manipulate their views and direction.
A good example of this manipulation is if the community produces a certain hashtag and it becomes highly engaged on a social network like Twitter. A hashtag may appear counterintuitive to the illusion of the individual and even non-professional research parties to the existence of a trend and a counter-trend with the same force, untrue.
This has been proven by numerous studies, including the Computer Advertising Research Project at Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford in nine countries: the United States, Russia, China, Germany, Poland, Taiwan and Ukraine. The team examined the use of social media to manipulate public opinion. Through the study of tens of millions of publications on seven social networks from 2015 to 2017 during dozens of elections, political crises and national security incidents.
The study found that there is a widespread use of social media to promote lies, misinformation, and propaganda by parties and governments to manipulate public opinion through mock accounts and robots aka any software for automated publishing that published and likes and participates on social networks.
The study found that 45% of Russia’s most active Twitter accounts are fake accounts of automated software. Also, the US report says that the fictitious supporters on the political candidate’s social networks were an incentive for real supporters to choose that fictitious candidate. The results of the quantitative analysis confirm that automated programs were effective during the 2016 US elections.
Smull Wolley, director of the research project, also said that the same means are being used to create a fictitious popularity for the political candidate to eventually have the scalability and success that did not exist before.
Finally, the study confirms that social media is an international battleground for dirty politics.
Dr. Bogdan’s book “Social Media in Politics” also collects research on the use of social media in political campaigns, electoral marketing, riots and social revolutions. It offers a range of case studies from all around the world, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions.
So pay attention dear reader, if you find the worshipers of the donkeys or supporters of the devil, do not be mislead and think that they’re a majority because they besieged you with their publications, hashtags and interactions. Be aware that you are manipulated by individuals, organizations and governments to create or amplify the abnormal thoughts, stunts and trivialities.
There is also a new type of terrorists whose mission is to attack any opposing direction or idea to what they support, and their weapons are treason and profanity to make you imagine the existence of a strong counter trend to what you think or to your views.
Also, there are many celebrities and influencers on social networks being used directly or indirectly through the so-called marketing influencers. They can be used directly by asking them to adopt or defend a candidate or system. Or indirectly by besieging this influencer publications, videos and various means of persuasion after studying it and then influencing it systematically to adopt the viewpoint required.
Dear reader, you can reveal some techniques yourself through some simple tools.For example, if you find a hashtag spreading on Twitter that is inconsistent with public opinion from your point of view, use the tool ctrlq.org/first to find out the first person to launch this hashtag. Through analysis tools such as keyhole.co, socialbearing.com and twitonomy.com, you can find out which accounts use this hashtag the most and analyze those accounts and those of their friends. To find out if the hashtag popularity is real or fake, you will be surprised by the results, because you will find many hashtags that have spread behind fake accounts and automated programs.
I conclude with an experiment done by researchers from Cornell University and the University of California in collaboration with Facebook. To manipulate the mood of the audience was the experience on 689 thousand Facebook users.By rearranging publications on those accounts,yes rearranging and not inventing new publications. By showing positive posts to one audience and negative to another, Facebook, through so-called emotional infections, has already changed the mood of users. Yes, Facebook can make you happy or sad just by choosing which of your friends’ posts to show you.
So beware the intimidation, groveling, repression and digital misinformation surrounding you on social media to manipulate your political views and attitudes. Finally, I emphasize that professional and mature digital marketing is a very important part of economic and political reform solutions.