Furthermore, unlike traditional media, social media sites are available any time and anywhere an Internet connection can be made. Instead of waiting to be ‘covered’ by mainstream media outlets like CNN, leaders who tweet are able to communicate quickly with their people...and without filters.
This is particularly significant in times of crisis and chaos.
The Immediacy of Social Media
At 2:40 A.M., just hours after three churches were bombed in Malaysia, Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Razak quickly turned to social media rather than traditional, mainstream media to denounce the violence. The Digital Policy Council reports that he used Twitter to reach out almost instantaneously to communicate with shocked citizens worldwide who had long looked to Malaysia as a model Muslim-majority country where different religious and ethnic communities co-exist peacefully.
Prime Minister Razak’s Tweet read, “I condemn the church bombings. An investigation has been launched and those responsible will be brought to justice.”
In the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, similarly used social media to call for national unity when his country was under attack by the international mainstream media over debt problems. “Abu Dhabi Dubai and other emirates are strong and united in UAE,” he Tweeted. “We’re one tribe. One family.”
Giving Power to the People
The Digital Policy Council reports that through the development of social media, individuals are plugged-in, empowered, and connected to one another in a global community where the exchange of ideas and unbiased news is seen as
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