Social Media and the 2008 US Presidential Election



you're watching cbc news today I'm Nancy Wilson if you need any evidence that internet sites are changing the political landscape consider this Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has a quote Internet director who presides over a staff of 10 and he's planning more hires almost all the American presidential hopefuls have profiles on both myspace and Facebook using the networking sites to reach out to younger more tech-savvy voters for more on the trend joined now by our own tech expert Jesse her so we've talked a lot in the past about you know how how politics is being shaped and changed by technology and specifically internet bloggers but this is the first time I guess we've talked about Facebook being a vehicle certainly in the presidential campaign and I know you you talk about how advanced politics is on the internet in in the u.s. why would candidates want to figure prominently on Facebook what's the strategy there well there's two reasons one as you sort of inferred is the youth phone if a candidate is able to mobilize what's essentially an apathetic constituency it could have a huge impact visit V there are other contenders but the other is the way that really the Internet allows for a self-identification in the sense that everyone you link up to on Facebook you know which district there in you know which state they're in so it's a lot easier with a very busy primary season to identify where key supporters are to immobilize them to go get their own friends and do the type of social networking that Facebook facilitates so for example your new hampshire members can be mobilized for a special announcement in New Hampshire or the primary itself and it has that quick response capacity we know there's a daily feeding frenzy on Facebook so every day you feed into that and you can get the word out so quickly that yeah does it logistically it makes total sense well in mobilizing the vote becomes really a much easier measure but also leveraging it so it becomes a large amount of people in this case young people but more and more not so young people who are also using Facebook and MySpace and you know what's interesting is that we know that they are showcasing themselves and reinventing their personas on things like YouTube the whole idea is they don't want to be seen as starchy so again it they're doing this i mean the classic case of course is hillary clinton and that sopranos send on well and it's a different spin on the way communications of done in politics you know traditionally it was about one too many using big speeches with big keywords now it's about intimacy it's about connecting with the candidate making them feel that it's a one-on-one and using sly humor like the last soprano scene makes people feel that they're inside the joke right they're part of the team and that level of intimacy i think motivates people to be means as it were to spread and in fact the message of the candidate so that their support really stretches as far as it can i guess there's always the potential that it can misfire i mean you know obama girl it you know was a bit controversial raised a few eyebrows oh yeah there's an element of risk when you go this route right well i think it's really a lack of control but you no longer can you control the campaign you hope to influence it but in extending the stage right the internet sort of in franchises people to become you know freelance campaigners unfortunately you can't control what they do and they may embarrass you and i suspect to leave and a type of infiltration where you know someone who will ostensibly join another candidate as if they're a supporter will deliberately try to embarrass themselves or embarrass the candidate as a way of indirectly sabotaging them in benefits of a competitive that would be the whole new dimension of campaign dirty tricks and you're right again once you're on the internet you can claim to be whatever you want so you can sort of say how can i sign up i want to be a loyalist a good soldier in the campaign and actually all you're trying to do is scuttle the campaign well i think the notion of a fog of war appropriately articulates the inability the source who's behind some of the attacks there'll be a lot of analyzed or even sudana a mais attacks where you think it's one person but it may be a political action committee affiliated with the republicans attacking the democrats but to find that i would be virtually impossible so it'll be lots of really crazy and perhaps extremely negative attacks that we'll see in this in this campaign now we've talked about political blogging before but i have to assume the scope and the sophistication and reach of blogging is going to be just unprecedented well and i think a legitimate legitimacy in a seriousness by which bloggers will not only take themselves but the mass media think will really cinda bloggers in terms of deciding what to cover and using the most as a litmus test for the American public at large and seeing really how speeches are received and how different ideas are spinning themselves through the campaign so bloggers I think will perhaps change the notion of punditry to make it more democratic and more of a level playing field and bloggers are being invited to have all official campaign access so they'll be on the buses and on the plane so again that just reinforces their legitimacy right well and they're a milieu of gadflies they'll make sure that all the candidates and even all the journalists really are true to their message at any time there's a gap any time there's a screw up the bloggers will be there to amplify it and make sure it gets as much coverage as it can so I think it would be a really interesting campaign absolutely and Howard Dean I get started it started the ball rolling when when he used the internet so effectively for fundraising we've gone so far past that but it all comes back to again the whole idea that the internet does provide a level playing field so in other words some of these third-party fringe candidates do have the same stage to dance on that the established candidates do well I think it what it comes down to is you know there's a notion of a political machine the Internet allows you to create a virtual political machine almost overnight so if there is a protest campaign or a populist candidate it'll be very easy for them to amass a large group of supporters and really reach out nationally across the United States to potentially have considerable impact which i think is making the to mainstream parties a little nervous about what could happen well we know it's it's it's a marathon campaign and it's bound to take on a life of its own just because of all these different areas of activity fascinating stuff Jesse thanks for this thank you

Maurice Vega

19 Responses

  1. FOR REAL CHANGE VOTE CHUCK BALDWIN.
    Since youtube won't allow me to post links (not sure why). If you want to know if Chuck Baldwin is on your states ballot do a google search
    Chuck Baldwin Ballot it should be the 1st one that comes up.
    Interested in knowing where he stands on additional issues google
    Constitution Party Platform again it should be the 1st link.

  2. this is all bullshit, this is all contrived. they should just use the popular vote,the majority wins and thats it, but that would take out all the fun out of this circus, wewant to make it entertaining…we don't want the american public who has been conditioned to the tabloids to get stressed out.

  3. that's because normally here in the u.s.a they dont want the candidates that are too smart, they don't want to feel intimidated.
    they want someone they can associate with, like dumb and dumber.

  4. what the fuck happened to ron paul? Listen, if the case is that we still have the power to elect our presidents (and that its not fixed), then I just can't fucking believe how no one did their homework and realised that ron paul was the best one to get us the fuck out of this mess.

  5. This is the worst presidential field, ever! We have Billary, McAmnesty, and Curious George. They are all crooks and I recommend leaving your ballot's "president" space blank. If enough of this do this, they might be forced to come up with better quality candidates in the future. It really doesn't matter who we elect because they are all just different masks on the same face. After all, the president is really just a figure-head and the shadow government runs it all!

  6. Shrillary, here's your chance to be the opportunistic political garbage bag you are and win the White House!

    You still have a chance to turn America into a 3rd world socialist banana republic!

  7. Yepp i saw, that guy is amazing. im getting confused by him. He speaks the truth and he is being honest about it. And the best thing is that he is an politician

  8. DR. RON PAUL'S TRACK RECORD TO DATE:

    1. Iowa - LOST
    2. New Hampshire – LOST
    3. Nevada – LOST
    4. South Carolina – LOST
    5. Florida – LOST

    Got Milk?

  9. I pray to God that Obama gets elected, otherwise i foresee a third war started by United states to "bring democracy to the world" hahaha

  10. All candidates are flawed humans. You can crank on any of the nominees, I'm talking issues, Giuliani is the best person to lead this Country into a new era of briliant change but you don't care.

    Billary in '08
    Welcoming Socialism to America

  11. certainly the democrats are trash, just as corrupt and lying as the republicans. But some of the views expressed by the rep candidates and the rep voters are sick. the hate involved in their anti immigrant views and the way they feel about torture that stuff is the vomit. Plus, i never put out a fact, never lied, just spitting opinion

  12. spread the word, all the republican candidates are basically racist evil rich folk, especially Romney. ………maybe if you like a paul or Huckaby you ok

  13. liberal biased media anit all that backs her, she gets plenty from republicans who want her to be the candidate their party unites against. I certainly get how republicans hate her, i hate her and am far left, but her policies are closest to neocons of all dems

  14. Kusinich is the best, a real liberal. Hilary is just as bad as Bush. Ron Paul speaks the truth concerning constitution/foreign policy, but Gov needs to play part in economics or else corporations will rape the people.

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