Online Campaigns

In 1960 Massachusetts senator known as John F. Kennedy, and Republican Vice President Richard M. Nixon participated in a debate that ultimately changed the world and the manner of which debates are held throughout history. Both of these men were part of what we know as the first presidential debate to be televised in history. Throughout the years and technological advances we are now in a world where Campaigns can be viewed at home or on the go through mobile devices. The hate and love for this new format of campaigning has stirred up controversy.

Tom Murse wrote in Is that Really Donald Trump on Twitter or just an Intern? About the idea behind Trumps use of twitter in his 2016 campaign. He goes on to quote trump in saying “I like it because I can get my point of view out there, and my point of view is very important to a lot of people that are looking at me,” (Murse 2016). Our president elect is no stranger to this format of media. He has even gone as far to say “somebody said I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters” (Murse 2016). His following according to Ryan Bort, might not be actual people. Our current president has a following of 20.6 million according to twitter. Ryan claims “if you browse through them you will find an unusual number of tweet-less, picture-less accounts” as well as mentioning a man by the name of Yashar Ali who verified his account and found that “68 percent of his then 20 million followers were real” (Bort 2017). This brings to question of our president-elect has an actual following or is this just another sad story like that of his crowed during inauguration.

It’s evident that the new format of political debates is here to stay. John Rampton wrote in 8 Reasons Your Social Media Campaign Is Failing about the use and relevance of social media platforms as of today. He claims “over one third of the world’s population uses at least one social media platform” (Rampton 2017). It’s no surprise our president used the media to market and structure his campaign. His apponent wasn’t nearly as active as our now president and many claim this to be the reason for her lose. It has become a lesson that you must be engaged on all platforms to have the upper hand.

The good in campaigning on social media is the factor that it’s easily visible and in many cases those who are campaigning pay nothing out of pocket. According to Laeeq Khan and the authors article Trump Won Thanks To Social Media, Donald had four million more followers on twitter at the time of the campaigns. Television was used in the debate but Khan claims “Only one of four younger voters said they used TV ads as a source of political news” (Khan 2016) meaning that there was some other sort of format to which Hilary and Donald gained support in their political movement.

Although social media has become a relevant canvas for those who want to express their opinions, this doesn’t mean all of them are heard or cared about. Laeeq goes on to say “Four of 10 social media users blocked or minimized content due to politics, according to Pew research. More than eight of 10 say they ignore political posts they disagreed with”(Khan 2016). The evidence shows that although campaigning online has become rapidly relevant, many people don’t agree that it should be on their to begin with. Screen politicians can be seen on every scroll whether this be on Facebook or any other social media site. The only solutions to this would be either blocking all of those who oppose your views on who should run the country or stay away from social media for the time being during the election.

It seems as if the only ones that like this form of campaigning are those who are running for office. Whether this be commercials on tv or ads on social media, there is no doubt that everyone is happy to see the end of the repetitive annoyance (except for Hilary). To see the end of the campaign is only bittersweet if the person you voted for lost the election. While Clinton stepped up her online campaign after the third debate, it’s sadly wasn’t enough to save the United States from Trump reaching the oval office. For the time being we may rest easy knowing there is still a few years of rest from the ads and commercials.