The election may be regarded as one of the most significant events not only in the political sphere of the country but in the life of almost every person. Citizens generally vote for their preferred candidate expecting that this person will consider their demands and officially represent their interests. It goes without saying that in the context of democracy and equal social rights, the election process and its results are expected to be completely fair. On the one hand, “citizens’ views of electoral legitimacy are conditioned by their perceptions of electoral and political performance” and not connected with an actual election process (Bowler et al. 2). For instance, people trust democratic institutions less if officials were reportedly bribed. On the other hand, despite the existence of its various meanings, the term “fair election process” currently implies the citizens’ free expression of their independent opinion through voting, following the regulations of the election process, and the acceptance of results by both losers and winners.
It is already generally known that the latest presidential election in the United States may be characterized by a highly charged political atmosphere. The results are ambiguous, and the legitimacy of the election currently raises questions. However, regardless of the final results, the fairness of the process may be argued as it was not free from manipulation and interference. According to the recent report that implied the analysis of over 240 million election-related tweets recorded between 20 June and 9 September 2020, social media were used to manipulate and distort public opinion (Ferrara et al.). The main techniques included the prevalent use of bots, manipulation of narratives, and the introduction of rumors and conspiracy theories.
Bowler, Shaun, et al. “Election Administration and Perceptions of Fair Elections.” Electoral Studies, vol. 38, 2015, pp. 1-9.
Ferrara, Emilio, et al. “Characterizing Social Media Manipulation in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.” First Monday, vol. 25, no. 11, 2020. Web.