According to The 2008 Presidential Election, 2.0: A Content Analysis of User-Generated Political Facebook Groups, over half of potential voters aged 30 and older get a majority of their political information from Facebook. Social media plays a huge role in the election cycle, from the candidates’ personal social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook, to the accounts that the campaign managers run. In the past ten years, we have seen a surge in political activity on various social media platforms, including Facebook groups. Facebook groups are now holding the place of a platform for group members to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions without controversy, because the other group members will generally have the same mindset as them.
I am a member of many political Facebook groups and I enjoy being a part of them. I am able to read about a variety of topics going on the in the news and in the election, share a few words on it with people who think the same as me, and not engage in negative political drama with those I don’t know, as is commonly seen on the Internet.
Social media can also help engage people in the election process. Many social media sites promote debates, town halls, and voting in general and primary elections. Some accounts will lean towards the left or the right, but some are also bipartisan. A company that I work for is mostly conservative, but encourages young women to get involved in politics, while also attempting to reach men. We are currently running a hashtag campaign titled #WhyIVote which encourages people to tell the Internet why they vote in elections. Throughout this campaign, we have encouraged many to vote and get registered to vote if they were not previously.
Social media plays a huge role in campaigns in today’s world. This can either be a positive or negative thing, depending on how the candidate uses the platform. I enjoy the social media usage of both candidates and seeing how they present themselves online.