Social media and the 2012 elections

Graham Davis's picture
Instructor
10/23/2012
New Media, Social Media

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Two weeks from today, voters across the country will go to the polls to cast their ballots for president (along with a host of other candidates and ballot issues). No other election has seen such heavy use of social media for candidates and campaigns to communicate with voters - for good reason.

Social media has become an essential tool for any modern political campaign, because voters use social media to both learn about candidates and causes and to recruit friends to join campaigns or learn more about issues. 

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published a survey on how people use social media to engage with politics. The survey found that 66 percent of social media users have used social media to "post their thoughts about civic or political issues, react to others' postings, press friends to act on issues and vote, follow candidates, 'like' and link to others' content, and belong to groups formed on social networking sites."

According to Pew, young social media users are more likely to use social media for political activity than older users:

Pew: Younger social media users are more likely to use the tools for civic activities

Do you post about politics on social media, and do you follow candidates running for office? Why or why not? What's your favorite political use of social media this (or any other) election cycle? 

Comments & Feedback

Student

Me personally, I don't post or talk about politics on social media and don't think I ever will. Politics and religion are two central instigators for a major online disagreement and loss of friendships. I believe that those two topics should be held quietly in contempt and placed in reserve in social media. I don't approve of personal display, but I can tolerate public display by the actual campaigns and candidates themselves. My favorite political use of social media is the use of twitter since it provides by-the-minute updates and can be really informative at times when many changes happen all at once in the race.

Student

Personally, I do not post anything about my political preferences. I feel that I can only piss people off by doing that, and those people who do share my opinions aren't going to slap me on the back for agreeing with them. It's just a pointless post... like posting pictures of food. I do like to follow candidates running for office. Technology is growing, and I like knowing that some of these old farts can keep up with the times. I also like to see what they post and am waiting for teh day one of them makes a typo or says something really stupid (seriously, if you're running for president and you just posted a picture of your family's pug, there is NO way i'm voting for you). My favorite use of political social media is twitter at this point. It's funny what some candidates will write (in 10 words or less) to get votes.

Student

Since social media became as large as it has, I've followed some social media campaigns of different candidates to see how they are marketing themselves and to get information about their causes.

It was interesting to me to see how John McCain's campaign in 2008 never really gained traction, and ultimately, he lost by a very wide margin in the presidential election. Meanwhile, Barack Obama seized the opportunity and used social campaigning to thoroughly promote himself. He has done so through the 2012 election, although his methods go a little too far - from constant emails and Tweets to Facebook posts, his social media stragegy is quite annoying.

But I do like Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's use of his Twitter account. Most of his tweets are to events that are happening, and providing important information on state initiatives, such as the Emergency Manager takeover of Detroit. It's relevant information, with none of the BS. To me, that's a good and efficient use of a social media campaign.

Student

I very rarely post about plotics on my social media because I know it can be controversial and bother other people. I do see a lot of posts about politics and it always seems that the poster is looking to start some kind of fight. I think Obama did a great job of utilizing social media in his camapign this year. He's the first candidate to really embrace social media. I think the fact that he was so involved in Twitter helped him because it allowed people to get to know him and his campaign better, it was a great way to connect with the current users of cial media.

Student

Now a days, growing of social media influences variety of people's life. For example, few month ago United States and South Korea had a president election. During the time when candidates were introduced themselves throughout social media to communicate with the voters. Voters shares their information on the social media, such as shares their opinion of each candidates. As a result of this social media's growth, the election showed diversity of age of voters have joined to elect the new president in South Korea, but also give an advice to the young voters, who did not have enough information about the election and voters.  However, there are several people who misuses the social media while they shares an opinion of election. In this way, social media gives a lot of information and helpful advice to the young voters and candidates that how voters are thinking about the election and each candidates. It will be a good idea to candidate if they uses social media to communicate with the voters in the future.

Student

I think people take social media too far when it comes to politics. While I understand freedom of speech, I have always been taught to be rather private when it comes to sex, governemnt, money, religion, ect. Like many other people I know I have around 1,00 friends, many of which I do not care about their position on many topics. I never post on social media about politics. I am so happy the race is over and having to hear about Democratics or Republicans. It is a waste of space and time.

Student

      So I realize the election was last week, but I just want to take this opportunity to say that I am still shocked by what a huge role social media played in everything. Even a week later, I am still seeing the aftermath of the elction everywhere I look: Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. People are expressing their opinions about the results, as well as starting to reflect on the past 4 years.

      It is a really interesting concept to grasp.  To our parents, this is a very new and probably unusual situation, but for those of us who voted for the first time this year, we know nothing else.  This means that my generation will be fully used to a political world blasted with social media.

Student

      So I realize the election was last week, but I just want to take this opportunity to say that I am still shocked by what a huge role social media played in everything. Even a week later, I am still seeing the aftermath of the elction everywhere I look: Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. People are expressing their opinions about the results, as well as starting to reflect on the past 4 years.

      It is a really interesting concept to grasp.  To our parents, this is a very new and probably unusual situation, but for those of us who voted for the first time this year, we know nothing else.  This means that my generation will be fully used to a political world blasted with social media.

Student

I never post on social media about politics. I actually hate seeing people post things about Democratics or Republicans. I think that it is unnecessary to post about these things because there is enough coverage and opinion on these parties already on the web. I don't care what "Jenny" or "Joe" have to say about Obama or Romney, their comments and opinions have absolutely no effect on my decision on who I will vote for. I just believe that it is a waste of social media space to post about it. THe only time I ever pay attention to politics on social media is from an unbiased media outlet that actually posts about issues and recent events in politics.

Student

I personally do not post political status or anything related to it. I feel that many of my peers on my social media sites are not well versed in politics and do not wish to converse with them about the topics. I also do not like to engage people who do not know the art of conversation in online banter. I find that more bad is done then good when people converse about politics online unless you are a credible source. I am still not sure that I like the idea of politics involvement on social media in general but to each his/he own.

Student

In the United States, it's rather unusual that people include expicit political or religeous opinions in their conversation with others, unless within a group or ensemble gathered around similar idea and believes.  United States enjoys an extreme cultural diversity, which becomes stronger and stronger these years. People often have distantly different cultural background and hence, political or religeous standpoint. However, prejudice and dicrimination still exists in social interactions. American people have learnt to protect themselves, and others by avoiding conversations in such topics in lots of circumstances. As Social Media grows, the conservation seems to have brought down and people started to express more on the virtual environment where one's statement stands like a status and a large amount of people may have a chance see. I find this quite interesting. Like other students made in their comment, "I personally" do not state anything in my Social Media activities. Because I don't have interest in that, rather than avoiding conflict. 

Student

Because I have already worked on many national, statewide, and local political campaigns, I am very aware of the power of political social media.  I occassionally post on social media about politics, knowing that it is also important to be tolerant of others' opinions.  However, I do find it strange when others say they hate political social media postings.  Isn't choosing the next leader of the free world a kind of important topic to discuss with others?  It's certainly more important than pictures of dogs, cats, your dinner last night, or your artsy Instagram photos.  Additionally, I always follow candidates and other ballot issues on social media, even the ones I am an opponent of, because I believe it's important to be aware of what others are saying.  My favorite political use of social media was from the 2004 election cycle.  Although social media like Facebook and Twitter were unknown at that time, a website called JibJab sent animated videos viral all around the world.  "This Land," a parody of George W. Bush and John Kerry was probably one of the best originals made by JibJab.

Student

For me, I prefer to watch presidential debate on TV and newspaper. Politics are quite important in traditional media, and traditional media makes it more formal. In my opinion, I would like to get more information on social media, but I won't vote it on internet. I enjoy reading comments on blogs and facebook. However, I will not follow cadidates running. I think Facebook it quite good for political social media because it it not that obivious for advertising. I would rather to vote by tickets. 

Student

I personally do not make political posts on any social media sites. I mainly use facebook and other social media to communicate with friends and My Grandfather wisely told me years ago to never discuss two things with friends. Religion or politics. Do this and you’ll stay friends. So when I see other people having political discussions on social media playing fields I usually stay away from it. 

 

Student

I try to not post about politics on social media as much as possible. I learned my lesson the hard way. One time I posted some image of a quote that Barack Obama had said that I loved. It was not related to either party at all, but the image proceeded to get commented on and then people were arguing about their political views on my picture! It was so annoying that I deleted the picture and I have made sure to never do it again. 

I do however follow political candidates on Twitter. I especially like getting my news from Twitter. It's such an easy platform to share interesting articles and stories. 

Student

I do not post politics on social media, but the main way I find out what is going on in the polls and with the candidates is through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I do not follow candidates running for office. My favorite use of social media this election is the fact that candidates can use online sources to reach their audience or supporters. This makes it very convenient to find out information about the candidates at any time.

Student

I am not suprissed by these findings. Social media plays a very importnt role in our live so of course were going to share our political veiws with our social networks. I presonally will not/ do not share political veiws on social networks. Reson being, social networks are already too personal as is and topics such as politics and religion should not be shared. 

Erin

Student

Wow I must say I really do enjoy this post because it is relevant to the exact happenings in this election particularly because social media is so rampid in the society of today. The social media sites especially that of Twitter, which happens to be my favorite media site to use, has transformed the way the younger generation gets informed and educated on election updates. Twitter is very simple and easy to use for a campaign strategy while also the use of this site allows the candidates to stay current with their news. During presidential debates Twitter makes following the discussions easier and sometimes more understandable for the younger viewers. 

Student

Both the Obama and the Romney campaigns have deeply engaged in digital marketing for this years election. If my memory is correct, it is also the first time that the presidential debate is live on mobile phones. Last time it was the introducing of social media in political campaign communication, and this time the key to success may be the mobile. Till now, Obama still gets more popular and active presence with more followers on social media. Will this be a prediction of the election? That will be interesting.

Student

I try not to overdo it, but sometimes I do tweet political things. I usually try not to overtly state my opinions, but instead try and criticize the way issues are talked about. On the other hand, I can't stand seeing status updates from people whose opinions I don't respect in the first place, or who are clearly not knowledgable about the current events in general, let alone the issues that surround the presidential race- I retweeted one of my friends recently, who I think sums it up best: "If people keep tweeting about politics I'm going to unfollow. Just because you have thumbs doesn't mean you know anything about anything." I do, however, believe that if the news media was better and more responsible with objective and non-sensationalist reporting, we would have more intelligent public discourse for which a tool like Twitter could be much more productive and useful.

 

Student

The 2012 Presidential Debates have been quite interesting for the world of social media, as I have noticed an increasing amount of my friends/ followers speaking their mind through Facebook and Twitter.  For me, I try to refrain from using social media to do this, as I do not feel as though this is an appropriate way to express my feelings.  I honestly believe that people should feel the way they want to feel and form their own opinions regardless of what their peers think.  I am not saying that it is not beneficial to be politically active but I feel that Facebook and Twitter are not the correct mediums.  Following Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on twitter is a great use of social media, as it allows form them to stay connected with their constituencies.  Personal opinions, however, people should keep to themselves.

Student

I am an international student, but I am still interested in American politics. American politics are part of the world politics. So I have habits to follow the news and even watch the presidential debates. I would post general thoughts about related issue or candidates. But I don't have a reason to go further as to follow the candidates or try to influence opinioins. But I defnitely will watch the news and keep myself up-to-date of what is happening overall. 

Student

No I do not post about politics via social media, because I feel as though that is the wrong way to go about discussing topics that should be valued by people my age. More often than not I see images that are making fun of a candidate, in particular I recentaly saw one of Romney that read, "Ruck Fomney." I don't think that is an appropriate way to voice your opinion, because those it may make your Facebook "friends" or Twitter followers uncomfortable. However, on the other side, I do believe that social media is a great tool for the actual candidates. I follow both Romney and Obama on Twitter. The 140-Tweets are an easy and convienet way for me to stay up-to-date, and gain a clear understanding of their viewpoints. I find it very informative and easy to comprehend, espically when I didn't have time to watch the debate. Also, when a particular issue comes about social media allows candidates to instanously respond and get their message out there, which in turn informs the public and can correct any misperception. 

Student

I currently do not post about politics on social media, and I do not plan on posting about politics any time in the future. I choose not to post about politics because they are my thoughts, and at the end of the day all it is going to do is get a lot of people's panties in a bunch. Then it is just a headache for me. I also do not follow any candidates that are running for office, there is no point. If you want to know what they think about something, watch the debate, see their body language. 

Student

I post about politics on social media. I made an effort during the Presidential Debates to tweet certain statements that I thought were important that were said during the debates. I follow candidates running for office on Twitter. It is another resource to use to find out more information about the candidate and their policies. It also keeps me updated on recent election polls and activities from both parties.

Student

This post brought up some interesting points because it made me think about what i think about politics and social media. I think its interesting how democrats are really using it to their advantage, more than the republicans are. I think it appeals to the younger crowd and catches their attention. However i dont really care to share my thoughts on social media outlets. I do enjoy following political profiles not limited to the candidates themselves. Most of the profiles on opposite sides post about the same things from their own standpoint so i like hearing it from both angles.

Student
 

I do not find this information surprising because the youth in America has the best handle on social media and would therefore be the most likely to use it. I do not like to post my political feeling on any social media. I think it only starts fires. I don’t find it intriguing or endearing to fight with someone about his or her political views on facebook. I could honestly give a rat’s tushy about how Kelsey from sophomore English feels about the political race. I find it annoying especially on facebook. I do follow news outlets on twitter such as foxnews and msnbc. I think it is important to read the tweets from both sides of the spectrum and following different news outlets allows me to do this. However I don’t reblog what they say, I don’t like the backlash. I'm interested in facts, and not so much about opinion. I also follow BBC for what I feel like is the most neutral news outlet. I don’t follow the candidates because I feel that everything they post is propaganda. Its another campaign tool that they use to their advantage, I don’t care to see it, I want facts.

Student

As the election quickly approaches, my social media sites have continued to have increasing posts about politics and candidates. I can proudly say that I have never posted about my political views, encouraged others, reposted content, or promote political material. Although many think that this makes me uninformed, I think political views are very personal and do not always have a place on social media sites. As the graph above displayed, it is mostly people ages 18-29 that use social media for political reasons. In my experience, it is people in this demographic that are not entirely educated and follow what their parents, role models, and/or friends believe. If I would were to use social media for political education, I would rather follow candidates directly instead of reading individual views. At this point in time, I am still unsure who I will vote for in the upcoming election. Also after reviewing the link above, it does not surprise me that overall more liberal Democrats use social media for political ideas that conservative Republicans. As the use of social media is a newer concept, it is likely liberals that would use it to educate the public. Although these are all my individual perceptions, I will continue to not post about my political thoughts!

Student

I'm going to keep a close eye on what the effects of hurricane #Sandy are having on the elections.  I've been using Social Media to follow a lot of the action involving both parties and I'm really curious to see what type of ramifications the east coast storm is having.  For example, the candidates were essentially forced to postpone or even close election rallys on the east coast.  Instead of reading news on weather.com, I'm going to pay close attention to what, say, Twitter has to say on the matter by following relevant accounts.

Student

Rarely do I post a political view on social media. Once in a while I may post an article I agree with or something that happened in an event (i.e. the debates), but typically it is something that presents facts rather than opinion. With the plethora of political posts on social media these days, especially from those who present their views via complaints, politics on social media is becoming increasingly annoying, and I tend to skip anything political in my newsfeed or block the opinionated person from my newsfeed all together. I do, however, follow a couple politicians on Twitter so that I can receive short snippets of information from them. My favorite political use of social media is the smartphone apps. Both Romney and Obama have an app with information on their views, news releases, and a place to donate to their campaigns. It is a forward-thinking, non-invasive type of approach, one that is appreciated in a time where newsfeeds are flooded with politics.

 

Student

Although I do see a lot on twitter and other social media sites all about the election I really do not care about it at all. It is cool to see Obama tweets talking smack about other candidates I really do not care because I believe that all american politics are corrupt and both candidates are terrible. No candidates ever say what they are going to do and all they do is lie about every single issue and never use americans money for the right things. Politics are terrible but I do enjoy the funny twitter posts if I had to choose anything about politics and social media being cool. GO RALPH NADER

Student

I've personally never try to talk about potical opinions on the public social media.  I don't have any problem with following candidates but when it comes to discussion with other people, I am trying to stay away from it, just because I don't like posting about too personal idea about any topics on social media pages that many other people whom I may not know even can see. And I am a more of a person who uses social media pages to keep in touch with my family and friends.  However, it can be a great way for politicians to communicate with people as well as advertisement effect.  I would suggest twitter, beacuse unlikely with facebook, twitter feels more widely share with other people easily beacause people can simply follow and unfollow.   

Student

The bar graph shown doesn't surprise me - I feel like I attribute and act the same as the majority of people in my age group, according to the Pew Reasearch Center.  It seems sensible that the numbers result this way.  I am careful when it comes to posting political material on my social media accounts - heck, I'm careful when it comes to posting ANY kind of material on social media account.  I don't try and post anything that would offend my followers/the general public, or things that might sway peoples' opinions.  The only social media I might post somethign political would be Instagram of photos from rallys, watching debates, etc. and/or Twitter depending if I link the two or not.  I follow candidates from both parties on Instagram, I think it's fun to watch a "day in the life" from either side.  My favorite form of social media to use for political reasons would be twitter, because I can comment and react on with hashtags and conversations that happen "in the now".  

Student

Do you post about politics on social media, and do you follow candidates running for office? Why or why not? What's your favorite political use of social media this (or any other) election cycle? 

 

Honestly I don't follow politics particularly closely.  I keep up with the presidental election as best I can but that's about it.  I usually keep my opinions about politics off facebook as well unless I think it's something of particular value or interest.  My favorite use of Social media in an election was last election in Obama's campaign.  In 2008 Obama was the first to make a large impact on social media.  Tapping both facebook and twitter he found a way to really get young voters.  

Student

First, Graham, let me say, I've greatly enjoyed your tweets during the Presidential debates, and I've followed your advice in following the Twitter of other individuals to see their take on things.  That being said, I have made one political tweet, ever, and that is only because I thought it was funny.  As a general rule, I avoid politics, and largely, religion (despite being a devout Christian), because I think of the social media space as I would any other social gathering...  If I were in a room of people who I *knew* shared my political or religious beliefs, that is a topic we can discuss openly.  But.  If I'm in a room full of diverse political and religious backgrounds and beliefs, I will be unlikely to broach those topics.  I'm of the firm opinion that me sharing my views is of no benefit to others unless they ask me my position. Similarly, someone sharing their thoughts with me has a very predictable outcome:  if I agree with the statement, I will feel a sense of comradarie with the individual who made it; if I disagree, I will feel separated from them somehow.  The one thing that will not happen is I will share my opinions, unsolicited, and I will succeed in somehow convincing someone to share those beliefs.  I am more than willing to discuss those things with asked, but I'm not going to force my opinion on anyone who may follow my Facebook to see pictures of my kids...  

Still, I follow a number of politicians (local) on Facebook, and appreciate their updates--as a constituent.  I appreciate tweets from players on the national political stage, and appreciate the tool social media networks can be for politicians and political movements.  But, out of respect for the diversity of my friends and followers, I will largely avoid polarizing topics of any kind, especially religion and politics.  Just like if I were at a dinner party.

Student

You can not escape political season whether you love it or hate it. I personally try and stay away from posting my political beliefs on social media because I do not want to start a "war" on my facebook wall and for future job prospects it is wise to not post anyting too controversial. I do however follow both candidates for president to see their contrast in style and which campaign is doing a better job using the medium to promote themselves. In the previous elections (2008) President Obama was the first candidates to really embrace the power of social media and it helped to vault him into the presidency. This time around both candidates see the power and are trying to use it to their advantage.  I really think twitter has become a huge player in the election and took a front seat on the night of the presidential debates. With President Obama having 31 million likes and Governor Romney at 11 million likes on his facebook page, social media is a BIG player in politics now. I for one will now be watching election night unfold in three places....TV, Twitter and Facebook. I wouldn't have said the same thing a few years ago. 

Student

Personally, I do not feel like to post about politics. It is too political to put my opinions in public. As a foreigner, it is more inappropriate to do that. Sometimes I saw people are arguing about the articles on the internet, and I do not think it is a good idea. For me, If I agree with others , then I might comment to support them, however, If I do not agree with them, I will ignore it and avoid to argue with them.

Student

Well, I guess this makes me one of the few. Outside of connecting with friends, I primarily use social media for christianity reasons. Twitter mainly to get blog articles or sermons or follow my favorite pastors. But i never use it for politics, thats one subject i dont voice my opinion in, cause there is no firm truth, and one i will never tweet about.

Student

Social Media has become a very important part of political campaigns as well as any sort of advertising. Because so many people use social media now, it creates a large audiance at a low cost. But as far as politics is concerned, I think it is an effective tool, but can also be a distraction from the real issues that face our country, and candidates. I however, do not post about poltics on social media, becuase i do not wish to share my views with others, cause i know someone will disagree, and i do not feel like having any sort of politic debate via facebook comments. I do follow the running candidates, i do this because i think it is important to know what they are each doing to reach the vote of the youth, or people in the social media world. If anything, it is more for the interest of seeing what they post about, and how ridiculous it is. I think my favorite use of political social media would be that of the presidential elections, although it is becoming a bit to intense as we get closer to the election, it is interesting to see how they act and react to the public and the media. 

Student

I personally try to stem away from posting political views through social media, but with abilities to share content, specifically retweets, it's nearly impossible to miss the social media usage from both parties. It's a very passionate topic for many, especially with the state of the country's economy in recent history, and all it takes is a single post to stir up many unbiased as well as biased opinions. Although I think some of the content can be over the top in attempts to belittle their opponent, there are instances that the information being provided is useful when comparing the candidates.

Student

I personally do not post about politics on social media.  I know a lot of others who do, and it's great for them, but I don't feel it's appropriate.  It's quite irritating when someone tries to shove political views down your throat, but when you've got 25 friends posting their views one after the other via your news feed, that's much worse.  People often bash each other's views or get into arguments, and in the end, they just look ignorant.  It can however, be a good thing- like when someone posts informational articles, or enourages others to become informed about issues. 

I also do not follow the candidates running for office.  I should though.  I think its great that political candidates have found a different way to connect with people.  What Obama has done with his Twitter following is amazing.  In my opinion, it is important for Americans to be educated about the political issues going on and specifically, the issues they're voting on.  Social media is an easier way for people to obtain their information (some information, biased or not, is better than no information at all!).   I feel the pure informational light social media sheds is a good thing.  It can provide political exposure to an otherwise lazy public who wouldn't bother looking it up if it wasn't on their news feed.  Or maybe even reading a post about becoming aware of certain issues might encourage someone else to look into the issue and form an opinion themselves.

Student

I choose not to post on social media when it comes to politics. I do follow the candidates running for office, and have strong opinions when it comes to my political views. However, I use social media as a way of staying in contact with my friends, and politics is not something I often discuss with those friends. Too often, people try and push their ideals onto others via facebook and this more times than none results in a dispute. If I were to choose my favorite political use of social media I would have to choose Twitter. This is beacuse you can easily follow and unfollow whomever you wish and tweets are limited to 160 characters, not allowing users to rant on and on about certain topics.

Student

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I hate how social media has been taken over by politics. I feel stressed out every time I open Facebook or Twitter knowing that it will be filled with peoples pointless opinions that I could really careless about. I strongly go by the saying "Never talk about politics and religion with friends or family." This is because it always seems to stir up some argument. I like my friends and family and I don’t need politics getting in the way of my love for them. Can't we all have different opinions? People post stuff on facebook just to start a debate or to share their beliefs, but really why are people sharing this?

 

Student

I have a lot of friends who made comment or post on social media about politics, but I only comment on the post that I really agree with, otherwise I won't leave any comment, because I think post some comment about politics is more serious than any other things happened around people, and people have freedom to believe what they thought. once I don't agree with others, I won't argue with them. From my view, some people sometimes just post something that is not right or make no sence and they believe in it. so I will just ignore it. However, this could be the down side of use social media for politics, people can say whatever they want to say and maybe they just don't care that much, and they won't treat it seriously. 

Student

I have definitely posted about politics on facebook and twitter before, but I do try to limit it. I’ve found that a lot of what people post can be offensive to those with different viewpoints. That being said, I never publicly slam a candidate on my social media accounts. I do, however post political content dealing with content that encourages people to take action. For example, I recently tweeted that I’d registered to vote, linking the site I used to get the information. I’ve also ‘liked’ Obamas campaign on Facebook simply because I’m not someone who’s concerned about keeping my vote private. 

I don’t follow politicians running for office because they barely ever post anything I find that interesting. However I heard of Obama tweeting with the hashtag #Romnesia and thats got to be one of my favorite political uses of social media in this election cycle.

Student

I agree that social media has taken big role in politics. I have noticed that during the presidential debates, most of the newsfeeds on facebook were about the politics and it was clear who was supporting which candidate. I also have seen many people arguing about politics in the social media. I personally do not follow certain candidates but I have noticed many people started to “like” candidates they support to follow up to date. Biggest reason I don’t necessarily follow them is because I know it won’t change my mind of which candidate I am going to vote for. However, it is a great idea to follow them on social media for people who are not entirely sure about who they want to vote for.

 

Student

Those statistics do not surprise me at all. In 2008, the social media presence was pretty big at that time too, and I thought Obama used Social Media much better than McCain and it had a substantial effect. This time around, the social media use..especially on the Twitter front is unreal with both candidates. I remember in 2008 when I was getting ready to Vote, I would pay attention to what people are saying about certain candidates and try to see different opinions. I tend to not post about politics on my Social Media, but every now and then I do. I do follow some politicians and cadidates, but not that many. They are obviously going to tweet about their side and be very biased, and I dont like that. So I dont pay much attention to it, and I try to look for the neutral tweeters with good opinions.

This years election is getting quite a movement on Social Media. With the use of Hastags, and Promoted Hashtags, Candidates are doing quite the job. Taking this class and seeing the use of Social Media for something REALLY important is quite cool. That's definitely my favorite part about it

Student

I think Twitter has been especially crazy this election cycle. Even the politicians have been active on Twitter- John Kerry tweeted (hilariously, I might add) a few minutes after the final debate that "Apparently Mitt didn't have any binders full of foreign policy." Record high tweets per minute seem to be happening every time there's a slight misstep from any major candidate in the public eye.

Student

I do not post about politics on social media because I do not want to push my opinions on others. I do not generally like seeing other's political views on my news feeds so I make it a point to keep it off of my accounts. I follow the candidates running for office that I like on my twitter account because it helps to keep my updated with what they are recently doing. My favorite political use of social media is the updates that are posted during debates and elections.

Student

From time to time I post about politics on social media. However, I don't make posts about my view points or try to persuade people's vote because I read posts like that and it irks me, so I don't want to be a hypocrit. I do however, post when I watched the political debates and poked fun at things that each candidate said if they are blatant lies or if one made a wierd face or something (Obama looking like he was going to pass out, Romney's creepy smirk/stare). I only follow one of the candidates, and it's the one I am voting for. I don't read too many of his tweets because I am already going to vote for him regardless, so I don't really need to re-read what I already know. My favorite political use of social media is watching people get in some heated debates over a FaceBook status, I could read those all day. One person posts their candidate's view point and calls the other candidate an idiot, then comes the heated debates in the comments under the status. Classic.