Social media and presidential election: Scientists examine impact of YouTube, MySpace

October 31, 2008

Dr. Paul Haridakis, associate professor of Communication Studies at Kent State University and a long-time scholar in the area of the impact of media on the political landscape in the U.S., is investigating the impact of hugely popular social media's impact on the upcoming presidential contest.

Haridakis, who is currently conducting research with Gary Hanson, associate professor of Journalism & Mass Communication and doctoral students on the role of YouTube in elections, says that even though expenditures by candidates on television ads continue to increase exponentially, this presidential election will be the first time in which social media, such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook, will play a significant role in persuading the electorate. He adds that the technology and use of these tools is so new, that extensive study on the role of these social and mass media is still underway. Its impact on the 2008 presidential race, Haridakis says, can only be imagined.

"Many people," Haridakis says, "will watch videos and use traditional media like TV to acquire political information about the candidates, but they also are going to the Internet and using social networking sites to see who people they know support. The information gleaned from their social networks may be the information they find most credible and persuasive.

"They'll listen to their buddy on his MySpace page, not necessarily the traditional messengers that candidates employ to reach out to the voters, or even the candidates themselves.

"That exploits the power of social media pretty well," Haridakis says. "The candidates in this election season have not fully harnessed the power of these tools."

Source: Kent State University

Explore further: Using a human voice in social media has a positive effect on company reputation

Related Stories

A fiery end for Kosmos 1315 over Hawaii

September 3, 2015

A relic of the Cold War surprised beach-goers and Hawaiian islands residents Sunday night, as Kosmos-1315 reentered the Earth's atmosphere in a dramatic display.

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.