Politics 2.0

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Social media networks have become indispensible tools in election campaigns — not only for communicating ideas, but also for mobilizing supporters and raising money. For social media advocates, the Obama victory in the 2008 U.S. presidential election  demonstrated the powerful impact of social media on politics. Still, some claim that the impact of social media on electoral outcomes is exaggerated.

On the Obama victory, see my article in the Guardian published right after the election: “Obama’s win means future elections must be fought online“. On the Obama victory, see also this article in the New York Times, “How Obama Tapped into Social Networks Power“.

Today Obama’s adversaries, and politicians everywhere, have mastered the techniques of social media campaigning. Some predict that the 2012 campaign will be fought on the Web. See this article, “Why Obama Needs Social Media in 2012“; and on the same subject, “2012 Presidential Candidates ‘Friend’ Social Media“.

For background on social media in politics, see this from NPR: “Politics in the Social Media Age: How Tweet It Is” and “The Future of Social Media Politics“. Also see “To Those Still in Denial, the Importance of Social Media“.

For the view that the impact of social media is exaggerated, see “For Election News, Voters Still Turn to Old Media“. Also see in the Huffington Post: “Twitter and Politics Don’t Mix“. Social media can also present challenges, and sometimes mistakes are made. On the potential pitfalls, see “Social Media Sites Turn Out to Present One More Land Mine for Politicians“. See also “When Campaigns Manipulate Social Media“.

For articles on the pragmatic challenges of social media in politics, see “How Political Campaigns Are  Using Social Media for Real Results” and “How Political Campaigns Can Turn Social Media into Support and Votes“. For the U.S. examples of Obama, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, see “Three Politicians with Expertly Run Social Media Campaigns“. For a non-U.S. example, see this one from Switzerland: “From Zurich, a Brilliant Political Campaign on Facebook“. For social media in British politics, see this from the BBC, “Social Media in UK Politics” and this infographic giving stats on social media and British politics.

Finally, for an academic paper on the subject of social media and political debate, see “Getting Political on Social Network Sites: Exploring Online Political Discourse on Facebook“.

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