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There’s no question that social media has completely taken over politics. Social media has allowed elected candidates and officials to be more amenable and accessible to voters. The ability to broadcast content and stream it to millions of people has allowed candidates to actively manage their analytics at almost no cost. Social media websites such as Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter have allowed elected officials to talk directly to voters using paid advertising. Twitter and Facebook have allowed people with similar political beliefs to connect through campaign events with features such as the “Retweet” button on Twitter and the “Share” button on Facebook. These features has allowed campaign videos to go viral. Due to analytics, candidates can alter their political messages to demographics based on the people with follow them.

Social media has also allowed fundraising to be more effective, and have helped campaigns reach a considerably amount of money in a short amount of time. Money bombs have allowed candidates to press voters to donate, and have reached people based on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Libertarian, Ron Paul exemplified the most effective money bomb in the 2008 presidential election. Social media in politics has gave voters a chance to give feedback. Whether it be good or bad, politicians responding to feedback has ultimately helped with well run campaigning. Twitter and Facebook has allowed candidates to gauge what people are talking about and adjust their campaigns to better fit the public. If an issue or controversy is being talked about via social media, candidates know what to address. A huge reason why social media has changed politics is that it has allowed candidates to target younger voters. Barack Obama was one of the first elected candidates to truly tap into social media and use it as a platform to engage with younger voters.

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Megan Jefferson

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