The Roles of Social Media in Politics

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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 raise awareness, state views, and even successfully raised donations. Social media was able to provide instant feedback on the standing of a candidate often days or weeks sooner than a more traditional poll.

Polls have a role in political campaigns and shaping government policies but recently the reliability of polls have come into question. The Republican polls provided the information to Presidential candidate Mitt Romney that he had a strong chance of winning key battle ground states. The polls showed "he had at least 267 out of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election" (Hoffman). When watching the election night returns the reality was Romney only received 206 Electoral College votes far away from the magic number needed to win or tie the national election. The candidate’s team used these polls and focused on states that showed a strong chance to gain votes. Romney focused his energy in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both states he eventually lost.

At the same time the social media polls showed a much different and more accurate p...

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...in the politically process could be a reality. Once a person's vote is stolen their voice is lost and the votes could be sold for a profit. The challenge to the validity of our future elections could destroy the confidence in our electoral process.

As the new digital era has risen so has a new way of voting; online voting. Even though online voting is more convenient, lower cost, and quicker it could also lead to hackers stealing an entire election or an entire part of the voting public left out. The vote and voice of those without access to computers, persons living in poverty or those without technology knowledge will be missed.

The future of the United States government, policy structure, and elections will evolve around the emerging social media. How well politicians and government officials use the technology could shape the policies of our country.
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