The United States is going through a period of increased political activism on the Net, which has a significant impact on businesses, people, and the law. Nowadays, through protection of corporate speech and the freedom of expression, there have been significant political activism changes. Individuals and entities can easily access web accounts such as Facebook pages to communicate their ideas online on any political topics of choice. Consequently, this encourages people to engage in politics on the Net by supporting their preferred candidates on social media or pointing out another candidate’s shortcomings (Kreiss & Adams, 2019). In the end, since messages posted online are visible to everyone, colleagues notice each other’s political affiliations, and this may have dire consequences at the workplace.
One of the major concerns of having political activism on the Net at the workplace is disagreement between coworkers and wastage of time. Regarding controversial topics, politics and religion used to have no room at the workplace as many human resources managers personally abhorred these topics (Chon & Park, 2020). However, that hypothesis is long gone and has flown out the proverbial workplace window.
According to Moorman (2020), about 42% of all U.S. employees agreed to have experienced disagreements at the workplace originating from political discussions. More than 26% agreed to converse about their political ideologies at the workplace, and about 87% follow and read political posts on social media, according to Moorman (2020). This means that politics are taking place every day at workstations. Being engaged on political discussions and scenes on social media consumes time that employees could have otherwise used to do other productive things. Therefore, politics at the workplace reduces employees’ output because it wastes time and leads to personal differences between employees that emanate from political ideologies.
Businesses have the freedom to express their opinion on political matters, and they are protected under corporate speech. Their activism is as powerful as the media in modern-day U.S. politics (Moorman, 2020). According to Goh et al. (2020), corporate’s political activism is at the heart of robust democracy and a crucial component of capitalism. As argued by Kreiss & Adams (2019), businesses have the right to campaign against rogue politicians and to facilitate the implementation and enactment of favorable commerce laws. This makes businesses powerful tools that politicians can use to champion their ideologies on social media (Chon & Park, 2020). Many vocal businesses today have a wide following on social media, and when used by politicians during campaigns, they can influence massive support.
I believe that political activism on the Net has vast effects on businesses and politicians and how politics are conducted in the United States. Though promoting political ideologies affects employees and businesses negatively, corporate activism is a powerful tool influencing U.S. politics. Since the current regulations on corporate activism and free speech influences politics directly, in most cases, they benefit citizens positively through championing trade rights and campaigning for politicians with sound economic manifestos.
In conclusion, while some employees can express their political ideologies without impacting the workplace negatively, other employees’ conduct may create safety concerns, and even interfere with work and civil rights. Corporates and small business organizations have the right to express their political opinions on the Net. This makes corporate speech of significant contribution to politics because it can influence support among citizens. I believe that with the current regulations that govern corporate speech and allow businesses to continue exercising influence over politicians, businesses’ position in political activism will continue to be a significant influence in U.S. politics.
Chon, M. G., & Park, H. (2020). Social media activism in the digital age: Testing an integrative model of activism on contentious issues. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(1), 72-97. Web.
Goh, L., Liu, X., & Tsang, A. (2020). Voluntary disclosure of corporate political spending. Journal of Corporate Finance, 61(3), 101-403. Web.
Kreiss, D., & Adams, K. (2019). Navigating the brogrammers and the boys’ club: Women’s representation and experiences in political technology. New Media & Society, 21(9), 1967-1987. Web.
Moorman, C. (2020). Commentary: Brand activism in a political world. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 39(4), 388-392. Web.