The Campaigning Empire

Democracy, capitalism and all that political jazz needs a leader of course. Campaigning expenditures become frightening to look at to any ordinary person, however if you are Obama running for Presidency, social media becomes your middle name. ‘Obama For America’ was a service which would collect data via social media in order to consider ways to popularize Obama. Obama’s data team adopted three significant quo’s; candidate appeal, scathing fame among the people with presidency attributes also political content which would allow information to reach viewers of social media such as YouTube and Twitter. Many individuals have become information lazy, expecting formless and brief updates of trending conversations, this may influence change on their political perception.

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Political persuasion is when media influences individuals through their opinions. Parties may also use media to sponsor or advertise for them. Liberalism tends to do this on TV media without making the viewers aware of what their political position is, delivering opinions as fact. Conservatives tenet with streaming on the radio, but disclose what their persuasion is and tend to do a better job letting people know when they are delivering opinion or facts.

Moreover, social media has impacted change during elections in Africa. As established by Obama’s presidency campaign, technology goes viral. Significant social media growth has occurred in Africa. In 2007 the Kenyan deputy prime minister, head of civil service and the police commissioner were all accused of crimes against humanity; with an estimated 1,300 deaths. Ushahidi is a software platform which allows people to connect. Along with Al Jazeera, technology during elections passes traction’s. The use of technology in different parts of Africa to cover elections has grown and become more and more sophisticated. A very recent example of this is the efforts were produced by Al Jazeera to solicit sentiments.Users were invited to make a phone call, where they listen to news headlines, leaving a message to be recorded, which would state their views or experience awing the politics; some were also able to write their own article. Thus, the pinnacle of mass communication supported by Al Jazeera and Ushahidi has helped to reduce violence and conflict.

Within Kenya, there have been concerns over social media being used to propagate hate speech. While government can track SMS conversations via the telecommunications companies, social media presents a real conundrum for governments given the fact that this is information flowing over the open internet. In addition, politicians are also interacting on social media and engaging the electorate on social media platforms, particularly Twitter and Facebook. If you’re in Kenya, it is not uncommon to see candidates’ Facebook page / website advertisements on Facebook. Beneficial for campaigners, social media helps to save their cost.

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Technology has advanced impeccably; that in 2001 the former Filipino president Joseph Estrada was forced out of parliament. As a result of Estrada’s corruption being dismissed at his impeachment trial; a forwarding text message, “Go 2 EDSA. Wear blk” was exchanged, in less than two hours, a crowd united a popular crossroad, in Manila, protesting, affecting the traffic. Within the next few days over one million protesters attended the rally. As a result of at the public’s ability to coordinate such a massive and rapid response — close to seven million text messages were sent that week -so alarmed the country’s legislators that they reversed course and allowed the evidence to be presented. As a result, social media helped civil society to force out a national leader. Where SMS is concerned, it is more likely that political text message political and social challenges tend to propagate. As a consequence, it was a shift in the balance of power between the state and civil society that led to the largely collapse of corruption and possible corruption/dictatorship. 

 

References:

Cresenciafong.com, (2013). Political Power of Social Media-Technology, the Public Sphere Sphere, and Political Change, The – Raw research notes and article annotations. [online] Available at: http://cresenciafong.com/wiki/ref:shirky2011political [Accessed 2 May. 2014].

Jeffery, S. (2011). Ushahidi: crowdmapping collective that exposed Kenyan election killings. The Guardian. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/news/blog/2011/apr/07/ushahidi-crowdmap-kenya-violence-hague [Accessed 2 May. 2014].

Rutledge, D. (2013). How Obama Won the Social Media Battle in the 2012 Presidential Campaign. [Blog] Media Psychology. Available at: http://mprcenter.org/blog/2013/01/how-obama-won-the-social-media-battle-in-the-2012-presidential-campaign/ [Accessed 9 May. 2014].

Ryde, R. (2012). Never mind the bosses. 1st ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, p.118.

Thomas, S. (2013). From Ushahidi to Al Jazeera: the role of mobile in Kenya’s elections | memeburn. [online] Memeburn.com. Available at: http://memeburn.com/2013/03/from-ushahidi-to-al-jazeera-the-importance-of-mobile-in-kenyas-elections/ [Accessed 2 May. 2014].

YouTube, (n.d.). The man behind the Obama for America campaign. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt_lnMLq1l4 [Accessed 9 May. 2014].

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