Mature Use of Media
Shirkey felt that the Obama campaign made mature use of social media because they used it as a way to respectfully analyze the thoughts and viewpoints of Obama’s supporters during certain policy decisions. When Obama was still a senator, his supporters went on to my.barackobama.com to speak out about his support of FISA, which prompted him to give a press release where he acknowledged people’s concerns, even if he ultimately did not change his decision. What Shirkey liked was that the Obama campaign had made no effort to shut down people who disagreed with them and seemed to appreciate everyone’s views. Shirkey would probably feel different about how the Trump campaign used social media. It was much less about the candidate appreciating what his supporters had to say and much more about the candidate using social media, Twitter in this case, as a propaganda tool to spread lies about potential voting fraud. Trump’s voice was always the most important one. In general though, it seems that social media increasingly plays a large role in politics as a way for candidates and politicians to stay connected with the public. Take Majorie Taylor Greene. While I dislike her as a conspiracy theorist and a radical, she knew that espousing the tenements of Qanon would resonate with certain people on sites like Twitter and Facebook. As it happens, the controversy she faces now is whether she went to far when she, among other things, liked a post which talked about killing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Greene likely would not have made it to where she is had it not been for social media. But I suppose that what qualifies as a “mature use” of social media is a question we still don’t have an answer to.