social media impact on political campaigns

Topics: Barack Obama, Political campaign, Twitter Pages: 23 (8473 words) Published: March 24, 2014


Social media impact on political campaigns

Mr Sajjad Naseer
American politics
March 2014
Lahore School of Economics

Acknowledgement
I would like to convey my deep affection to few persons and would love to acknowledge their appreciative help in our research project. The persons include my instructor Sir Sajjad Naseer and Ms. Maheen Haroon .

Contents

Abstract:
Research on this topic would show on overall support or refute of social media playing a significant role in political campaigns. Given the support for social media‘s role in political campaigns, research would show how social media affected previous campaigns, specifically President Barack Obama‘s 2008 presidential campaign, and the growing importance of social media to future political campaigns. Research would also indicate the potential problems and best uses of social media in future campaigns.

Introduction:
Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share, or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Engagement through social networking sites and Twitter has become a marked feature of political and civic life for a significant portion of Americans .According to the Mass Communication and Society study, the ability to express political views and opinions online plays an important role for social media in campaigns. Social media allow users to not only seek information but also interact with others through online expression such as posting political commentaries on blogs and social network sites and sharing multimedia commentary. In past campaigns, Facebook users have expressed themselves politically in many ways, such as making online donations, encouraging friends to vote, or posting graphics or status updates expressing political attitudes and opinions. Twitter and blogs have been used by candidates and voters to comment on social and political issues, share information and encourage participation.38% of those who use social networking sites (SNS) or Twitter use those social media to “like” or promote material related to politics or social issues that others have posted.35% of social media users have used the tools to encourage people to vote. 34% of social media users have used the tools to post their own thoughts or comments on political and social issues. According to the Mass Communication and Society study, the ability to express political views and opinions online plays an important role for social media in campaigns. Social media allow users to not only seek information but also interact with others through online expression such as posting political commentaries on blogs and social network sites and sharing multimedia commentary . In past campaigns, Facebook users have expressed themselves politically in many ways, such as making online donations, encouraging friends to vote, or posting graphics or status updates expressing political attitudes and opinions. Twitter and blogs have been used by candidates and voters to comment on social and political issues, share information and encourage participation. Also, YouTube and CNN partnered to sponsor a debate in which candidates took questions from user-created videos as opposed to a moderator. During the 2008 election, it was observed that Barack Obama, who won the election, had a large social media presence.

In subsequent years after this election, many other candidates for political office created a presence on social media as well. This leads observers to question the correlation between social media and success in presidential campaigns.

Research Questions

o How has social media been utilized in previous political campaigns, specifically the 2008 presidential campaign?

o How has the use of social media changed in subsequent political campaigns?...
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