Social Media Influence on 2016 Presidential Race

After attending the panel, I have listened to five different opinions about the tremendous impact social media had on this past election. One of the biggest statements that stood out to me was when Fincham said that to win the election, the best candidate would have to know how to be fluent in both types of media – new and old. He stated that Trump won because of his ability to reach people on social platforms. Hilary was apparently too old school, or stuck in the “2012 debate” as someone else on the board stated.

Another aspect that really intrigued me during this discussion was Fincham’s presented slide show. It had statistics, funny Trump tweets and the top 10 terms Hilary and Trump used. Was was interesting was that Hilary’s terms were all positive and generic and Trump was on there twice. Trump never once used Hilary’s name — he just used his campaign slogan a lot more and was more emotional.

One issue that came up while Kreiss spoke, was the use of politicians and their media. The fact that 9 million people watched Trump’s Facebook Live post, in which he made 9 million dollars off of that stream because people tuned in and also took action. And we learned that the media needs politicians to give them credibility while politicians need the media to share their role. Now this can be argued as unethical – to pay the media – because the media is not always right! Not to mention the complete bias it may have.

Bouncing off that, some people in the media worry that their jobs will be useless because politicians, like Trump, have been skipping over them and just campaigning through their social outlets. This makes the need for journalists to step up increase, and out beat social medias by writing their own words and not just repeating what Trump says, because people can just go to his page. The panel kept calling this “hybrid media” and explained how Trump used it to his advantage.

Sasha even brought up how Facebook is used during the elections. During Obama’s election, it used to take our information and make it available to advertisers and also match us to other use profiles who had the same political views as us in hope to get each other and our friends across the U.S. to vote. Similar to this, Trump would pay a lot of money to advertise on Facebook to promote his content. He would throw it out there to the world, and trust that his supporters would circulate it. Sometimes this did not work in his favor because of how personal or offensive he was — some users did not want to share or back him up. However, his online campaign analytics were through the roof and that was a big difference between his campaign and Hilary’s. Hilary was less “provocative” and “honest” than trump was on social platforms. Social media allowed him to get more attention, whether it was good or bad. Because let’s face it, bad attention is still attention.



3 thoughts on “Social Media Influence on 2016 Presidential Race

  1. This is interesting; it’s kind of cool that there are people who research all of this stuff. I also think, like it or not, Trump’s online persona (or whatever you wanna call his twitter account) makes him appear more relatable to people who share the same beliefs that he does.


  2. I think it is interesting that Hillary Clinton was shown to use Trump’s name on social media, but he did not use hers. While following both of their social medias during the election, especially Twitter, it was interesting to see the contrast between the two. Donald Trump was definitely more emotional, but I feel like as time went on, Hillary’s social media began to tug at those emotions. I can think of two examples – one where she quoted his tweet and said “delete your account,” and another during the first debate where he lied about saying something, so she quoted his tweet and said “‘I never said that.’ -Donald Trump, who said that.”


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