Technology will remain central to making elections more efficient. It will also continue to put more tools in the hands of audiences to make politicians and the media more accountable. Page 53

This quote from: ‘ #UKelection2010, mainstream media and the role of the internet (Nic Newman 2010) claimed that social medias and politics were coming together to inspire  teenagers to get involved with voting.  Politicians getting involved with social medias is not a new development – with the amount of people available online it isn’t strange to see many businesses  such as restaurants taking on Facebook or Twitter to raise awareness or gain support. With the recent Barack Obama V Romney presidential vote, social medias also played an important role as the ‘final vote push‘.

Many American sites announced that both candidates used social medias to gain last-minute votes. For example on The Times of India US:

President Barack Obama said on social news site Reddit:: “I’m checking in because polls will start closing in this election in just a few hours, and I need you to vote,”  — one of several social media pushes for votes by the incumbent.

The 2010 election Nic Newman mentioned in his work also went through a similar process to America’s election.

Compared to a few years ago, in which a surprising amount of people didn’t know enough about politics to make an informed decision, social medias have helped change voting completely. The development in available information has added a further layer of advertisement to votes that is similar to advertisement for normal products, although the word ‘advertisement’ seems a little cheap to use here. Some would use the word persuade, either way the process of voting is starting to gain popularity among teenagers that instead of only being able to vote for a candidate can now also talk about it with many others online. Being able to see and compare different opinions has received a surprisingly good reaction from the public and has increased participation.

So far there seems to be no negative impact in politicians using social medias in a way very similar to how journalists use it. Except the idea many have that politicians can be more manipulative online – although the stereotype that all politicians are sneaky and manipulative seems to be set in stone regardless of it being on a poster or on Facebook. Just as journalists cannot escape the stereotype that they would sell their own mother to get front-page news.


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