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Effects of Social Media and Technology on the U.S. Election

  • Category: Pics  |
  • 13 Apr, 2021  |
  • Views: 637  |
The 2020 US Presidential election is one for the record books. Typically, the US presidential election is usually a battle of wits but this was beyond wits, it was a battle of ideology and philosophy. It was a contest to either Make America Great or to reclaim it from the path of self-implosion. The two candidates could hardly be any different; the only major similarity they seem to possess was their age as both were in their seventies. It was a keenly fought contest between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party and could have gone either way. The incumbent President Donald Trump is known for his outspoken misdemeanor to seem so sure of victory such that even while the outcome seems all but concluded in favor of Joe Biden. Social media was a key player in the outcome of the election. 

1 Effects of Social Media and Technology on the U.S. Election

The Influence of Social Media

Donald Trump will go down in history as one of the most abrasive and possibly divisive presidents in history. He was also quite an active user of social media especially Twitter. He was one never to shy away from social media engagements. He could let off a piece of his mind without the usual decorum expected of a statesman. This style of approach is probably a major contributory factor to his loss at the polls. America being a first-world nation has a population percentage of 72% of prospective voters who have access to at least one form of social media. 

Social media played a major role as an outlet for concerned citizens to express their opinions about the performance of the President Trump administration. Social media was also a suitable ground for candidates to put up their plans and positions on the issues facing the American public and proffering their preferred solutions. While the policies of President Trump were proving divisive especially with his handling of the George Floyd murder protests and even his decision to build a wall at the border with Mexico. Social media helped amplify dissent against him. As is normal with an incumbent president, President Trump had his diehards who offered him strong support even up to invading the US capitol to show their support for their leader. However, the supporters on the other side were more. 

Social media copies gambling methods to create psychological cravings. It is worth saying that gambling is a conscious choice of a person who understands the risks of losing everything. While social networks do not give you the choice not to read or not to see this or that information. It is necessary to have certain psychological qualities and skills not to fail in online games and media manipulation.

Social Media as Watchdog 

Social media played a role as a watchdog for the last US election. It is a normal phenomenon for elections to be monitored via social media but this time, social media platforms like Twitter took a bold step to curb the dissemination of fake news through social media. Issues about election irregularities and fraud could be traced through the use of social media and in less developed climes where the authenticity of election results was not guaranteed, social media could be used in reporting live results of elections to promote accountability by the electoral officials. For Twitter, false reports were flagged to create awareness to the readers. They were so thorough in their effort to clamp down on fake news that the account of President Trump was suspended due to the false report that was tweeted from his account. 

Celebrity Support

Typically, when an incumbent loses election for a second term like President Trump then searchlight should be beamed at his policies. While Trump's policies could have won him a few enemies, the celebrity support that the Democratic Party enjoyed cannot be ignored. Even while the emphasis of the celebrities' wasn't necessarily to vote out Trump, because the celebrities had to appear neutral for fear of losing fans who may be in support of the Republican Party, the emphasis on voting was clear enough that Trump needed to be voted out of office. Celebrities from the sporting and entertainment industry alike were vocal and this was enough signal for their fans to rise and be counted. 

Social media is already a powerful force but took on an even greater power at a time the world was battling the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 protocols ensured that physical interactions were discouraged and this in itself meant more people would have time for social media thereby making the media polls more likely a true predictor of who the real winner would be. President Trump's likeness for controversy was not much heralded in the 2016 presidential elections. His decision to go more vocal was, therefore, a badly calculated move that factored in one of the main reasons behind his electoral defeat. With rumors of him possibly losing his Twitter account and a permanent ban, it looks certain that social media is in an era where it wields great power. 

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