Discussion Week 11

How is political speech expressed in social media? Provide some examples that you have seen, or been involved in.

By: Shelby Schroeder

I think social media is one of the biggest places where people express their political beliefs.  In some ways, it’s great that people can come together to discuss their opinions and ideas about politics, but in other ways, people take it way too far.   Before social media and the internet, most debates about politics would be in newspapers, or simply just by word of mouth.  Twitter offers a way for people to just make a simple statement, so there isn’t too much fighting going on.  Facebook is where the real “problems” are.  I saw this mostly after the presidential election was over, when Obama won, a lot of people made a lot of happy statuses referring to Obama.  Others however, made really angry statements degrading him and making it seem like our country was doomed.  Fights quickly broke out and these statuses had a large number of likes, but also dozens of comments.  This showed me how truly divided our country can be, and how sometimes the freedom of speech on the internet can get out of hand.  A lot of people who were making statuses and comments had no idea what they were talking about.  Overall I think that expressing yourself about politics in social media can be good, as long as you don’t attack others about what they believe in.

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Discussion Question #11

How is political speech expressed in social media? Provide some examples that you have seen, or been involved in.

By: Marina Eggen

In the U.S. expression of political speech is open for anyone to say anything they please, whenever they choose to do that (as long as it is not seen as a threat to an individual or the country).  Social media is a great place for people to have that expression and relay it to a number of people.  In the days before the election there was an explosion of people posting on social media sites to say who to vote for or whom they are voting for.  There were many people who were helping campaign by trying to persuade people last minute with their posts.  There were also groups on Facebook that allowed the people to express their favorite candidate because they have the freedom to do so.  On Twitter hash tags (#) of the candidates names were very popular as people bashed one candidate and supported the other.  Social media is a great way to get an individual’s ideas and beliefs out to a large number or people.  The expression of political speech was so huge on the days leading up to the election, the day of the election, and one or two days after.  When the results came out my news feed on Facebook consisted of two types of posts, and that was either happiness for Obama, or hatred for Obama.  It was amazing to see almost all of my friends on Facebook partake in their own political speech expression, and they did that through social media.

Discussion Week 11

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.