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The Impact of Social Media in US Elections - Research Paper Example

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Impact of social media on US elections Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Impact of social media in election The impact of social media in the society has been massive since its growth in the last decade. It has affected operations in business, journalism, communication and social relationship…
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The Impact of Social Media in US Elections
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The Impact of Social Media in US Elections

The 2012 US election is one of the areas of evaluation of the impact of media in the electoral process (Campaign tech panels 2012). The 2008 United States presidential campaign coincided with a period when social media were gaining fame globally. Barrack Obama extensively used Twitter and Facebook to reach voters. In 2008, President Barrack Obama’s campaign team successfully used the internet and social network solicit funds and effectively link up with campaign volunteers (Learmonth 16). Despite the fact that experts have no certainty on the extent to which social media impact the U.S election, they accept that opinion on across the social web sites influence election outcomes. The 2008 elections occurred at a time when social media was gaining fame in the society and becoming one of the most prominent aspects in communication and advertising (Metaxas & Mustafaraj, p.473). It offered a unique opportunity to evaluate the usefulness and the success of the different media platforms(Dylko, Beam, Landreville, & Geidner, 2012). However, for social media presence to be effective, it relies on access to the internet. According to American Life Project, the access to internet increased and by 2008 over 46% Americans were using the internet, email or text messaging to obtain news about the campaigns. Likewise, the same number shared their views and mobilized others. In specific reference to social networking, only 10% used the established social sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Compared to the 2002 elections, the 2008 elections registered an increase in social networking. While commenting on the increase, in social media use, Peter Daou, an internet advisor for Hilary Clinton states that virtually every platform including the social media was employed, in public dialogue. The social media, in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, was used to introduce stories into the public, which affected consciousness and had a direct impact on the news presented by the mass media organizations (Williams & Gulati, 2013 p. 64). The blogs and other social format helped set the agenda for the media and the discussion surrounding the elections. The findings of the day before elections indicate that the Obama campaign was more active in the social media than McCain. In fact on Facebook, Obama has over 2.3 million supporters against 620,359 followers for McCain. In addition, on twitter, Obama had over 100, 000 followers against a mere 4,603. Likewise, on You Tube, there were over 18 million views for Obama against two million for McCain (Gayo-Avello, 2011). The following on social media was reflected in the election results as Obama won the elections. Even on the traditional media platform, Obama enjoyed massive success with over 160,000 mentions against over 140,000 for McCain. The findings indicate that the Obama campaign used the media effectively in the 2008 elections which led to success in elections (Learmonth, 2009). The social media is useful both in facilitating and distributing the campaign message. It also offered a platform for engagement on the message presented. According to Learmonth (2009), the coverage of issues was similar regardless of the platform. In fact, the issues covered in the traditional media were reflected on the social media and vice versa. The finding indicates that information transfer between the traditional media and the social media ... Read More
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