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The power of social media in politics

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Ashton Egner

on 28 October 2013

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Transcript of The power of social media in politics

4. How social media is a mobilizing force for young voters.
Annabel van Gestel 366765
Ashton Egner 355333
Floris Hondmann 379101
Yvonne Daniels 386709

The power of social media in politics
Politicians and New Media
Politicians have latched onto New Media
In 2000 50% of voters were on the internet
In 2004 Howard Dean raised $40 million
In 2008 President Obama took over the social media outlets
5% of 38 million had regular Internet access in early 2008
Short message services (SMS) - “provocative messages”
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, weblogs, wikis
Rise of citizen journalists
Creation of an alternate public sphere
How social media became a tool for civic empowerment
Media as a Watchdog before post-election crisis was questionable
Vernacular media stations (Local language media channels)
Ethnic hate was propagated
Journalists failed to pursue the truth of who had rigged the election results
Table of contents:
The integration of social media into politics
Social media and empowerment during Kenyan post-election crisis 2008
Can the Egypt revolution be called a Facebook revolt?
Social media as a mobilizing force for young voters
The integration of social media into politics and how it has disfavored the business of politics so far
Social media and empowerment
during Kenyan post-election crisis 2008

Brief Overview

President Mwai Kibaki winner of the 2007 presidential elections
Outrage sparked amongst citizens
Over 1,000 people dead shortly after
News media ban put in place
“in the interest of public safety and tranquility”

3. Can the Egypt revolution of January 2011 be called a Facebook revolt?
Hosni Mubarak, dictatorial president for 30 years
General disaffection about :
has social media (in in my case Facebook) the power to bring a revolution to a country under suppression?
Has it really that much power to change people´s mind and bring them to the streets and rebel?
Would Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak still be president if Facebook had not called for this revolution?

elite enrichment
alarming economic and sociopolitical conditions
high rates of unemployment in spite of good education
Facebook´s power v.s. power of the people
general disaffection about the political, social and economic situation
only 24% of 84 Million Egyptians have access to internet
Face-to-face communication
Malcom Gladwell: There have been revolutions before social media even existed

There is no doubt about Facebooks immense power and influence on this social movement but a revolution happens on the streets and not in the virtual world!
Facebook page “we are all Khaled Said”
Facebook became basis for communication and exchange of information
Facebook accelerated the speed of the revolution
The revolution would not have started if there had not been Facebook!?
Historical background
Key Term
Political Socialization: The way in which individuals acquire the information, beliefs, attitudes, and values that help them comprehend the operations of the American political system and orient themselves within it. (Colby p.2)

Why it's so popular
Levels playing field for Youth Vote
"Gives ordinary people extraordinary power" - Sam Graham Felsen
Catalyst for Participation
New Media as a participation retardant
Time Displacement Theory (Chang, 2008)
Media portrays the world cynically
What do we use media for?
How does this show empowerment?
Mobilization of the masses
New form of communication developed through social media and citizens wanting to be informed

Social Media: communications media which enable social interaction.
Social network sites: websites that enable people to create an online profile and form relationships with others users.
Political communication: Strategic use of communication to influence public knowledge, beliefs, and action on political matters
Obama's 2008 campaign: starting point of political use of social media.

Two main developments:
Political communication without interference of journalists.
More opportunities for citizens to engage and interact.
Bloggers-Changing the face of politics through social media?
Biggest impact on citizens
The need for citizens to expect more from public institutions and governmental practices
One-to-many communication
95% of population reached through radio
“a critical part of the national conversation”
"It now takes only 140 characters to damage a political campaign" (Kucinich, 2011)
Defining concepts
Social media: resource for political news, information, finding people of the same political interests, tool to address voters.

"The political use of social media has, so far, generally disfavored the political process".
How political use of social media started and developed
Increasing superficiality
2/3 of voters view social media as a higher quality source for political information or equally reliable as traditional media.
Political knowledge is increasingly based on one-liners and short statemets.
(George Washington University, 2012)
Social Media and Interaction
Adam Conner: "...it lets them keep in touch when they're not around."
No interaction enlarges the gap between politician - citizen
(Debating Europe, 2013)
Before the use of social media
Gateway for expression
Power and freedom
Transparency between people
Social media served as:
The public sphere is an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems (Habermas, 1992)
Full transcript