The Social Media, Politics of Disinformation in Established Hegemonies, and the Role of Technological Innovations in 21st Century Elections: The Road Map to US 2020 Presidential Elections

The Social Media, Politics of Disinformation in Established Hegemonies, and the Role of Technological Innovations in 21st Century Elections: The Road Map to US 2020 Presidential Elections

Ikedinachi Ayodele Power Wogu, Sharon Nanyongo N. Njie, Jesse Oluwafemi Katende, George Uzoma Ukagba, Morris Oziegbe Edogiawerie, Sanjay Misra
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7472-3.ch035
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Deep concerns about the rise in the number of technological innovations used for perpetrating viral dissemination of disinformation, via major social media platforms during multiparty elections, have been expressed. As strategy scholars observe, it is inimical to democratic systems whose election results are questioned by reason of faulty electoral processes. The Marxian alienation theory and Marilyn's ex-post facto research designs were used for evaluating the consequences of adopting political disinformation strategies (PDS) as tools for manipulation, via innovative artificial intelligent technologies, on established social media networks during recent democratic elections in the US and other rising hegemonies. The study observed that most governments and expert political campaigners continue to find it a politically viable platform suitable for swinging the votes of electorates in desired directions. Authors recommended stiffer regulations for media platforms and party agents as this would aid discontinuing the practice of PDS during elections in established and rising hegemonies.
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Background To The Study

Contemporary scholars like (Owen, 2017; NED, 2018; Levush, 2019; Coppins, 2020 and Amanpour, 2020) have expressed serious concerns over the inimical rise in the number of Technological Innovations [TI] and Information Communications Technology [ICT] devices which are now used now used for facilitating the the injurious and viral dissemination of political disinformation via major social media platforms, largely during multiparty elections in established hegemonies for the purpose of manipulating the outcome of democratically conducted elections in their favor. A move which most scholars observe have become very injurious and inimical to democratic systems in both rising and established hegemonies (Wogu, Sholarin & Agoha, 2015; Lanoszka, 2019; Coppins, 2020; Hameleers, Powell, Toni, Meer, & Bos, 2020; Wogu, Misra, Udoh, Agoha, & Sholarin, 2020; Krafft, & Donovan, 2020; Assibong Wogu, Sholarin, Misra, Damasevičius, & Sharma, 2020 and Kushwaha, Kar, & Ilavarasan, 2020). This move in the opinion of other scholars accounts for why most citizens and members of civil rights originations, continue to question the credibility and sanctity of most democratically conducted electoral processes and the results published during and after such elections (Sanchez, 2019; Levush, 2019; NED, 2018 and Assibong, Wogu, Sholarin, Misra, Damasevičius, & Sharma, 2020).

One of the sectors that have clearly enhanced the diverse dissemination of political disinformation is the technology sector. Studies in this regard revealed that the wake of the 21st century brought with it advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technological innovations which many believed, could change the way man perceives the world, for the benefit of man (Wogu, Olu-Owolabi, Assibong, Apeh, Agoha, Sholarin, Elegbeleye, & Igbokwe, 2017; Wogu, Misra, Olu-Owolabi, Assibong, Udoh; Ogiri; Maskeliunas, & Damasevicius, 2018d and Wogu, Misra, Assibong, Adewumi, Maskeliunas, & Damasevicius, 2018e). To this end, studies reveal that these technological innovations of the 21st century had given birth to advanced technologies like ‘Facial recognition devices’, ‘Autonomous driving vehicles’, ‘Chatbots’, ‘Big data’, ‘Machine learning’, ‘Artificial Intelligent Machines’ (AIM), ‘Supper Intelligent Machines’ (SIM), ‘Trolling’, Deep-fakes and a whole lot more of such similar intelligent devices (Wogu, Misra, Assibong, Ogiri, Maskeliunas, & Damasevicius, 2018c; Joseph, Sultan, Kar, & Ilavarasan, 2018 and Levush, 2019), which have now become, for most multibillion-dollar IT giants like Facebook, Google, Alibaba, Amazon, Microsoft, etc, (Adepetun, 2020 and Mabillard, 2020), tools and instruments used for disseminating information and knowledge to billions and millions of people all over the world. However, majority of these Technology Giants (TG), for monetary and commercial purposes now use these innovative tools for disseminating political disinformation and the manipulation of the opinions, ideas, and views of vulnerable electorates during elections and at other times (Assibong, Wogu, Sholarin, Misra, Damasevičius, & Sharma, 2020 and Wogu, Misra, Roland-Otaru, Udoh & Awogu-Maduagwu, 2020).

An investigation conducted and published by McKay Coppins of The Atlantic Daily News Agency – as if to corroborate the above assertions - sounded an alarm about the outcome of investigations they conducted on Facebook, which seems to reveal a hidden plan and agenda by Donald Trump and the Republican party which had proposed spending over One Billion US Dollars on what McKay Coppins described as ‘The Billion Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Re-elect the ‘Donal J. Trump’ into the White House. (Amanpour, 2020 and Coppins, 2020). A review of the article by McKay Coppins and other similar scholarly articles on the dangerous trends amongst 21st-century governments’ and political campaigners’ (NED, 2018; Levush, 2019; Sanchez, 2019; Lanoszka, 2019; Amanpour, 2020; Coppins, 2020 and Hameleers, et al, 2020) - who now clearly adopt political disinformation strategies as viable tools for swinging the votes of electorates in their favor against existing regulations during and after elections in the US and in most rising and developed democratic hegemonies. This scenario has caused scholars to wonder and fear for what would eventually become of the fate of the forthcoming 2020 US Presidential elections in America. From this perspective, this article interrogates the challenges and issues which political disinformation strategies exert on the integrity of forthcoming electoral results of US presidential elections and the effect it will have on democratically organized settings amongst rising and developed hegemonies. While attempting to identify some of the roles AI innovations in technological ought to play in 21st-century politics, the paper also strives to identify appropriate measures which concerned regulatory bodies and government agencies should take towards mitigating the negative consequences and impending threats which political disinformation strategies poses to humanity.

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