In the past two U.S. presidential elections, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have played a very important role. Formerly, social networks have been used by anti-government figures to express different political views. But now more and more ruling parties have begun to use social networks to interact with the public. This interaction can also play a win-win effect. The dignitaries’ befriending behavior can get more public supports, meanwhile, social networks with the help of political activities expanded their influences.
IMAGE 1: The netizen expressed their attitudes about Obama elected President in 2012 on Facebook.(http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/obama-acceptance-speech/402316) [Accessed 05 March 2016]
Tumasjan et al. (2010) have found Obama attaches great importance to the network that he is benefit from social media and network in the general election. Obama’s twitter has someone to maintain, and once netizen added Obama’s followers, maintainers will put his followers as a friend. When these friends make some remarks about Obama that Obama’s twitter could reply initiatively, which narrowed the distance between him and ordinary voters. In fact, Obama’s rival Hillary Clinton also established a profile on twitter, but Clinton only treated twitter as an information dissemination platform, rather than a communication tool.
IMAGE 2: The Twitter of Obama (http://www.idigitaltimes.com/obama-has-fake-twitter-followers-too-does-it-matter-337313) [Accessed on 5th March 2016]
Tumasjan, A., Sprenger, T. O., Sandner, P. G., and Welpe, I. M. (2010) Predicting elections with twitter: What 140 characters reveal about political sentiment. 10: 178-185.
Posted by: Jie Yu
Student ID: 28113934
Posted by: Yan Zhang
Student ID: 27873595