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The Roles Of Social Media In Politics

1648 words - 7 pages

From the words of United States President Barack Obama "Call your members of Congress. Write them an email. Tweet it using the hashtag #My2K." (Coffee). Social media has played an increasing and larger part in today's government. Social media has the power to influence elections and connect the people to the policy makers in new ways.
Social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Flicker, internet websites, and blogs are becoming mainstream attracting a younger more technology savvy voter. Many candidates in the last elections learned to use these mediums so not to overlook tech savvy voters and learned how to use these to their advantage. Candidates took to the internet to ...view middle of the document...

And when the criticism of one candidate and praise of another are combined, the conversation on Twitter leaned Obama's way” (Pew). It was the first time in history social media had a role in the process and called the presidential election correctly.
Since it worked for the election President Obama has taken to social media again this time to shape political policy. On December 3, 2012 President Barack Obama hosted a conversational Twitter chat to personally answer questions about the 2013 tax rate restoration for all Americans also known in the news as the "fiscal cliff". The Twitter conversation was needed due to the two political party's stalemate in Washington DC. "His venture into social media came as Republicans and Democrats continued trading blame for the deadlocked fiscal negotiations in Washington” (Price). Obama went to the people to ask how they felt on tax increases on those making millions.
This manner in communicating with elected officials is a new way of reaching the regular person. The Twitter conversation of Obama's is a completely new avenue for the people to speak to their representatives. Most young people understand the power of Twitter as they use it daily and it is how they obtain most of their information. When the last generation needed to ask a question of a government official they would have had to mail a letter and hope for a response in 60-90 days. Often such a reply would be full of government doublespeak that would cause more confusion and anger. That generation did not get the questions answered that lowered the feeling of government transparency and reduced trust in how a problem would be handled. These outdated ways were inefficient and did not build up trust leading to the appearance of government inefficiencies. The United States 40th President Ronald Regan in 1981 is quoted,
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
His words are still repeated today proving that mistrust is inherent in our political structure.
Public opinion and political action are critical aspects of a representative democracy. Public opinion is the distribution of the population’s belief about politics and policy issues. To measure the public opinions of issues professional pollsters develop polls. Since there is no way every person in the United States could be asked a question a smaller proportion from the larger population, called a sample, is taken instead. There are different ways and different means that pollsters can sample a slice of America. Random sampling is a technique researchers do so that everyone has an equal probability of being selected for a sample. There are exit polls where persons are surveyed after they have voted. The problem with exit polls is that they may change the results of an election called the bandwagon effect. If people who haven’t voted hear a poll that says their candidate or issue is winning they may choose note to vote....

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