Social Media and the US elections

The online world was a very different place back in 2004 when the last US election was underway. The word blogging was only recently starting to slip into society’s vocabulary, YouTube had yet to delight us with its thousands of online video’s on demand and twitter was not even a twinkle in Jack Dorseys’ eye.

This time round everything has changed. my.barackobama.com has the democratic candidate using every social media tool in the book. Read his well-tended blog, sign up to get live news and events near you, follow him on twitter as he tours the country and even make friends with other Obama supporters.

But it’s not just the candidates and their campaign teams engaging our attention using these tools. This year anybody that has an opinion and an internet connection is sharing their opinions and even hitting the headlines.

Issues which may have been downplayed, or even wilfully ignored in the past, are now dragged into the spotlight in all their gory detail by amateur bloggers. The controversial remarks made by Obama at one of his fundraisers would probably never have been mentioned again if it hadn’t been for 61-year-old ‘citizen journalist’ Mayhill Fowler whose report rocked the delegates campaign.

Effectively Social Media has created a decentralised press in which our reporter’s perspective is not influenced by the threat of losing a wage. It’s a distributed medium that can’t be manipulated by even the most powerful of individuals.

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One Response to “Social Media and the US elections”

  1. Fantastic work Obama, meanwhile McCain cant even work a computer!

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