According to Resnick in the book written by Toulouse and Luke (1998), the new Net created by the web had change the cyberspace into mass medium which attract many aspect of life such as in economic, social and political forces. Dominick (2013) stated that “social media are online communications that use special techniques that involve participation, conversation, sharing, collaboration and linkage”. Political awareness among youth are important because they are the nation’s future leaders.
The usages of social media give many benefits to them to fill the information which are lack that they got from the mainstream sources. In this paper, the effects of social media on the youth awareness on politics in Malaysia will be discussed. Voting could be increase by citizen visit partisan and nonpartisan web sites to search information about the candidates and the issues. Based on the observer, even though newspaper and television had do their job by covering presidential and congressional races, local papers and local television had expose less political news.
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Therefore, web sites help to fill this coverage on many aspect such as social, economy and politics. But, there is also bad impact of social media as according to the Anas Zubedy (2012), sometimes the internet gives badly impacted on politics when people posted wrong and slander news or information about someone or some political party. Although the citizens aware about politics that influence by internet, statistics show that the proportion of Malaysian’s voting actually declined in 2008 during General Election.
In a research done by Yusop and Sumari (2013), they answered all three question related to the use of social media technologies among Malaysian youth. They focused on Malaysian youth from the age of 20 to 24 or also known as Generation Y in their research. They collected data from 379 youth about their use of internet and social media technologies. These youth use the internet for online communication and socialization, research on specific information for assignments, ‘how-to’ and ‘do-it-yourself’ information, political issues and shopping. The social media is user friendly.
That is why it becomes wide usage among the youth. Between the activities that the youth doing by social media were reading personal, political and social issues, share comments, videos and many more related to politic and social issues, and there are many activities that the youth do by social media. The youth used do by social media to discuss about politics, both on campus elections and national political issues. Thus, social media has become important medium for the youth to seeking information and unintentionally becomes powerful means especially during the election time.
Youth in Malaysia today are more interest in pursuing social media rather than the other sources to get information about politics. With the drop since the last election, Malaysia’s once powerful print media are facing a huge crisis where fewer citizens relying on it on their daily political news (Rob O’ Brien, 2013). These shows the people are more believe in social media rather than other sources. In a research article by Sani and Zengeni (2008), they study about the factor that determined the 2008 General Election result. The factor is the new social media of the internet.
According to the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the ruling governments lose the online war in the election. From the research done, one of the factors that made social media become great impact in 2008 General Election was due to the establishment of the Multimedia Super Coridor (MSC) project by Tun Mahathir. In the MSC policy stated that the Malaysian government would never censor the internet on order to attract the world IT companies. Due to this policy, the opposition and the NGO’s movement were benefited in that General Election.
Through social media, the oppositions who were being restricted from using mainstream mediums were waking up. They used the social media such as Blogs, online news, YouTube and etc. to convey their message, forums and many more. The social media are worldwide, so that they can easily win over the ruling government in order to attract the voters especially youngsters who rely on the social media. For example, in 2008 General Election, the Malaysiakini website get 100000 daily hits and when the General Election reached the peak, it get approximately 500000 hits per hour.
Based on this research, the authors realized the impacts of social media and listed down many impacts in this paper. Finally, in this literature review, it shows that social media not only provide benefits to Malaysian’s youth aware about politics, but also give the false information that leads to the bad impact. The information that coming from the unknown sources can only be used by the providers. There are a lot of incorrect information and manipulated information in the social media.