Digital politics


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  • Howard Dean: “Super PACs have made a grassroots campaign less effective,” he says. “You can still run a grassroots campaign but the problem is you can be overwhelmed now on television and by dirty mailers being sent out... It’s a very big change from 2008.”
  • “In Monday's Doonesbury comic strip, the character "Alex" typed: Saturday, September 13th, 10:35 a.m,. at the foot of the Space Needle. Everyone should link arms in an enormous circle, hop up and down, chanting "The Doctor is In." Roughly 100 people chanted The doctor is in! The doctor in! The doctor is in!" It lasted less than minute. “Putin reelection protest in St. Petersburg.Balurus – AlexanderLukashenko was reelected in 2006. People believed election was rigged and protested in Oktyabrskaya square by eating ice cream. Still, several arrested. Some 450 arrested in subsequent silent protests.
  • Digital politics

    1. 1. Digital Politics Trends 2012
    2. 2. “The power to coordinate otherwisedispersed groups will continue toimprove; new social tools are stillbeing invented, and however minorthey may seem, any tool thatimproves shared awareness or groupcoordination can be pressed intoservice for political means, becausethe freedom to act in a group isinherently political.”- Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (2008)
    3. 3. What are some of thetrends you are seeing inthe world of „digital‟politics today?
    4. 4. Online Fundraising• 2004 Presidential election – Kerry collected $82 million between March and the end of July; Bush raised $17 million (Vaccari 2008)• 2008 Presidential election – Obama raises an estimated $500 million online (Huffington Post, 2011)• 2012 be determined – Will the SuperPACs derail grassroots campaigns?
    5. 5. “Friendraising”• Votizen is a new social network for voters• The idea is to get “friend s to persuade friends” to vote versus “buying votes”• Over 540K voters registered on Votizen• Members can: – Connect with “voting” friends – Endorse candidates and causes – View voting records – Express their political viewsSource: Gannes, L. (2012) Votizen Gets a Celebrity Round of Funding to Connect Social Media and Politics. Retrievedfrom
    6. 6. Votizen Founder: David Benetti
    7. 7. Online AdvertisingIncreased online spendingby candidates:2012 election estimates --somewhere between $1 and$1.5 billion,up from $177 million in 2008.
    8. 8. Political Parody• “Emerging genre of political Twitter fakes”* Aka. “Fake politicians” • Generally follow the events/activities of the real politician in order to „tweet in character‟ • Have followers who are politically engaged • Most are in it for the humor – believing the political impact is low • Sometimes end up having real-life „interactions with their targets‟ • Some targets get backlash for trying to „shut down‟ the fakes*Wilson, J. (2011) Playing with Politics. London, England: Sage Publishing.
    9. 9. Online Political Satire• Mark Fiore• 2010 Pultizer Prize Winner• Online only – political cartoon satirist
    10. 10. Mark Fiore “Old vs. New”
    11. 11. Flash Mobs• Synchronized meet-ups in the real world• Invented by Bill Wasik (Harper‟s Magazine) as „street performance‟• At first, mostly harmless fun • Zombie walk in San Francisco • Silent dance party @ London‟s Victoria Station• Then, entered the political sphere • Cartoonist Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury) - Howard Dean flash mob in Seattle (2003)• And, rallied people to protest – Vladimir Putin reelection “Vova go home!” (2004) – Balurus election protest (2006) • Protesters stood silently eating ice cream – still several were arrested Photo courtesy of SmartMobs blog.
    12. 12. Political Bloggers• Political bloggers use blogging as a means for political expression and social change• Why they do it:* } – An alternative perspective to mainstream media – Help society Extrinsic motivations – Inform people } – Formulate new ideas – Keep track of thoughts Intrinsic motivations – Let off steam• Impact? – 94% readers focus on views they already agree with *Ekdale, B., Namkoong, K. , Fung, T. (2010) Why Blog? London, England: Sage Publishing.
    13. 13. Truth…?!••
    14. 14. Sources• Ekdale, B., Namkoong, K. , Fung, T. (2010) Why Blog?: Exploring the motivations for blogging by popular American political bloggers. London, England: Sage Publishing.• Gannes, L. (2012) Votizen Gets a Celebrity Round of Funding to Connect Social Media and Politics. Retrieved from funding-to-connect-social-media-and-politics/• Luo, M. (2008) Small Online Contributions Add Up to Huge Fund-Raising Edge for Obama. Retrieved from• Shirky, C. (2008) Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. New York, NY: Penguin Books. Kindle edition.• Thomas, K. (2011) Barack Obama 2012 Campaign To Go Beyond Email, Text . Retrieved from campaign_n_886280.html.• Veccari, C. (2008) From the air to the ground: the internet in the 2004 US presidential campaign. London, England: Sage Publishing.• Wilson, J. (2011) Playing with Politics: Political fans and Twitter faking in post-broadcast democracy. London, England: Sage Publishing.• Zepeda, A. (2003) Doonesbury Cartoon Sets Up Political Rally. Retrieved from
    15. 15. Appendix
    16. 16. Factoids• 75 million Americans went online for campaign-related activities in 2004• 52 percent went online to get information on candidates and issues• 35 % used email to discuss politics,• 11 %(about 13 million people) participated in online campaign activities such as making donations, signing up as volunteers, or learning about political events and rallies(Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2005).