How is political speech expressed in social media?
By Austin Merritt
Political speech can easily be found on the walls of Facebook the week of the elections. I remember looking at my Facebook and seeing why I should “Vote No” to Minnesota amendments or vote for Romney or Obama. I believe social media is a fast and easy way for candidates to get their name out there. I also see it as free advertising for them. Anyone can make a page on Facebook without any start-up costs. With this capability I think politics found a way to shift their strategies to utilizing social media effectively. There are pages supporting Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for president. They had information or just kind sayings to the supporters. They held pictures of the candidates on the page and allowed for people to comment on the content. Look at Obama’s administration; they won most of the younger vote. It would be highly beneficial to them to target social media sites where the young vote are more to be found. That is not to say that older citizens do not use social media, but I mean to say that the younger generation can be found on social media. I also remember looking at the side of Facebook and seeing the advertisements. There was another advertisement saying, “Vote No.” This is political to me, as a Minnesotan, as we were voting upon Minnesota constitutional amendments this election cycle. I remember one of my Facebook friends was analyzing and reporting the Electoral College count via Facebook to his friends on Facebook. He would have frequent Facebook updates. Facebook was just littered with political speech last week. I remember after the election there was also many postings about the election. Not to say anyone is wrong in doing so, just that there was a lot of media wrapped around the election. I hardly check my Twitter so I was unable to give any information about Twitter in this response.