The Political Power Of Social Media
In most of the inhabited land, before the 12th Century A.D, political power resided with the King/Monarch. Power was exerted through local feudal, and collection of taxes each year. In 1215 A.D, the Magna Carta was signed by the King of England, giving away some of those powers to the aristocracy. This initiative was replicated in Europe till the 18th Century.
The American Revolution of 1775 and the French Revolution of 1789 were products of this period of enlightenment (of Europe mostly) in modern history known as the ‘Renaissance’. As a result of these revolutions and the wars preceding them, political power was transferred to the representatives of ...view middle of the document...
McCain ended with 6,20,000 Friends on Facebook. The Obama campaign spent $643000 of his $16 Million Internet budget to advertise on Facebook.
The Obama campaign did not focus exclusively on Facebook and MySpace; they maintained profiles on 15 different social networking sites, and even created their own social network on Obama’s website, Barackobama.com. On that website, over two million profiles were created, two hundred thousand offline events were planned, four hundred thousand blog posts were written, four hundred thousand pro-Obama videos were posted on YouTube through the site and thirty five thousand volunteer groups were created.” (Pages 57,58).
Eric E. Otenyo mentioned a new and unique method of reaching out to potential voters. In his essay, “Game ON: Games and Obama’s Race to the White House” he wrote, “Obama’s presidential campaign became the first to apply the immense potential of advertising in the gaming world, interfaced through the Internet to engage a large section of potential and previously untapped voters”
Obama, though, wasn’t the first US based politician to harness the power of the Internet and social media. In 1998, for example, Jesse Ventura, a former professional wrestler, known as “The Body” had harnessed technology to mobilize supporters via the Internet to win the gubernatorial election in Minnesota.
Likewise, Governor Howard Dean in 2000, and Senator John Kerry in 2004, were also highly successful in recruiting hundreds of campaign volunteers through the Internet media.
The Obama campaign was the first of many International events that have been shaped by social media and its users.
It was another presidential election, albeit in another part of the world, that highlighted the increasing role of social media. It was in the aftermath of the Iranian presidential election of 2009 that the ‘Green Movement’ started. Young supporters of the losing candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, started it. The color green was used as the symbol of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign, but after the elections it became a symbol of unity and hope for those asking for annulment of what they regarded as a fraudulent election. The Washington Post and Al-Jazeera English called it the biggest protest in Iran after the 1979 Revolution. The movement gained worldwide sympathy after 26-year-old Neda Agha Soltan was shot during a protest; her death was live-tweeted and picked up by media around the world. She became the symbol of the movement after her tragic death.
In January 2011, Downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square became the focus of news, courtesy social media involvement. It ultimately led to the ousting of Egypt’s depot, Hosni Mubarak. On September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district, the Canadian activist group Adbusters initiated a protest, which led to the Occupy protests and movements around the world. Both the Tahrir Square protests and the Occupy Movement signified the momentous political...