How Social Media is Changing Politics“Social media strips away the intermediarythat media plays between people and theirgovernment. It gets rid of that middlemanand allows people to interact directly withtheir elected officials. The flattening of thatprocess has been tremendously helpful tothose of us who want to hear what peoplethink.“- Paul Ryan, Vice Presidential Candidate
How Social Media is Changing PoliticsO The PROS:O Providing unprecedented access topoliticians and governmentsO Forcing transparency and authenticityamong our leadersO More ways for the people to get involved,share their views and engage in dialogue
How Social Media is Changing PoliticsO The PROS (cont.):O Once just voters, people are now activeparticipants in the democratic processO According to Pew Center, 25 millionAmericans self-identify as “online politicalactivists”O Evens the playing field for candidates(deep pockets are less of a factor now than“friends” and “followers”)O Before social media: weekly radio addressO Now: weekly VIDEO address
How Social Media is Changing PoliticsO The CONS:O More participants through social media =more noise and more polarizationO Partisanship is increasing and “turning off”much of the electorateO User-generated media is being used tosensationalize and exaggerate the otherside’s faults (often with misleading andinaccurate facts)
How Social Media is Changing PoliticsO The CONS:O Rising number of hyper-networked politicalminorities that work to block action ratherthan find solutionsO Political gridlock at an all-time high
Stats From 2010 Mid-Term ElectionO Online activity peaked at 5.7 million pageviews per minute (avg. is 3 million) -32.5% higher than the 2008 peak of 4.3millionO Only the World Cup was morepopular, according to AkamaiO More than 12 million people posted statusupdates on Facebook saying they voted --up 120% from 2008(Source: Mashable, 11/9/10)
O 74 percent of House candidates with themost Facebook fans won their contestsO 81 percent of Senate candidates with themost Facebook fans won their contestsStats From 2010 Mid-Term Election
Politics on YouTubeO Governments, political groups, politiciansand news organizations are using YT tocommunicate with constituentsO Here are just a few:O The White HouseO Associated PressO Al JazeeraO Jerry BrownO The Taliban (yes, even them!)
The First Viral Political VideoO In 2006, Howard Dean (Democrat runningfor president) gave a speech in Iowawhich quickly became known as “thescream heard around the world.”
O In 2006, Howard Dean (Democrat runningfor president) gave a speech in Iowawhich quickly became known as “thescream heard around the world.”O Resulted in a huge media backlash –people thought he was unstable/crazyO Hundreds of “Dean Scream” remixes onYTO He lost the Democratic nomination to ourcurrent presidentThe First Viral Political Video
2011 Arab SpringO People in several Arab countries Used FBand Twitter to organize massive protestsO Egyptian government then blocked thesesites so a group of engineers fromGoogle, Twitter and SayNow created@Speak2Tweet, a speak-to-tweet servicefor protesters in EgyptO Social media has the power to topplegovernments!!
Stop SOPA & PIPAO Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Protect Intellectual PropertyAct (PIPA)O In January 2012, Internet companies and tech influencerslaunched a huge cyberprotest to stop PIPA and SOPA• 200,000 phone calls to Congress• 7 million online signatures (via Google petition)• 2.4 million tweets via TwitterO Within 48 hours of being proposed on Capitol Hill, the billwas withdrawn after the expected vote went from 80-31 infavor to 187 opponents
Stop SOPA & PIPA“To frame this battle properly, a looselyorganized group of Internet leadersoutwitted a well-funded lobbyingorganization. And they did so in grand style,convincing dozens of lawmakers to reversetheir votes virtually overnight.”– VentureBeat.com
2008 Presidential ElectionInspired by the desire forchange, people leveraged theirpersonal networks of family andfriends, and accomplished theunexpected: propelling a long-shot Senator out of the shadowsand into a towering victory overan American war hero with morethan 25 years of commendablepolitical experience.
How Obama Used SMO Created “Obama for America” – a smallteam of dedicated staff that used socialmedia to organize and rally supportersO Promoted universally-appealing conceptsthat weren’t political but instead personaland community-orientedO Adopted a transparent approach tocommunication and made informationreadily accessible – shared a lot and often
How Obama Used SMO Used social media sites to organizevolunteers and get people to encouragetheir friends to volunteerO Gave people tools to create their ownmessages/activities in support of thecampaignO OFA empowered people to do itthemselves – people made the campaigntheir own
Obama’s YouTube VideoO Still the most popular political video of all time(more than 25 million views since February 2008)
Specific SM Sites UsedO Used Scribd to upload policy documents andspeeches so people could download and readthem and share across their social graphsO Used Twitter to blast video links, mediainterviews, campaign news and upcomingralliesO Used LinkedIn’s groups section, wherecampaign staff as well as supporters couldanswer specific questions and respond torelated discussions initiated by the sites users
By the NumbersO Obama Myspace friends outnumberedMcCain’s by 5 to 1O Obama Facebook Fans outnumberedMcCain’s by 4 to 1O Obama videos on YouTube outnumberedMcCain’s by 5 to 1O Obama channel video views on YouTubeoutnumbered McCain channel views by 9 to1
Results/TakeawaysO Ushered in a new generation of politically-active citizensO Allowed Americans unprecedented accessto the candidates – we felt like we really“knew” themO Helped elect a president with the leastamount of political/government experiencein modern times
2012 Presidential ElectionO Did Social Media predict the winner?O Obama had roughly 3 times more FacebookfansO Obama had 20 times more Twitter followersO Obama had approximately 9 times moreYouTube subscribers and video viewsO Obama also dominated the online conversationat large, taking a 64% share compared toRomney’s 36% acrossTwitter, Facebook, Tumblr, blogs andmessage boards.(Source: SFGate.com)
The Mention MachineO Washington Post newsapp that monitorsTwitter and mediaacross the Web formentions aboutpresidential candidatesO Reveals trends andspikes that showwhere theconversation is andwhy
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