A growing trend in US politics is the utilization of the internet as another platform for propaganda. Seen above is an interesting example of this trend on YouTube. This trend was also reflected in 2007, when YouTube worked with CNN to host its first presidential debate using citizen-submitted videos. A year later, in 2008, seven of the sixteen candidates announced their election through YouTube.
US politics have reached further than YouTube. Politicians also use social networking sites, such as Facebook. Ever heard of Virginia State Senator Ryan McDougle? Well, Senator McDougle has a Facebook page. As an act to better reach the people, he invites his constituents to comment on this Facebook page. Well… that plan backfired. Why? Well, Senator McDougle is a strong supporter of the state’s mandatory transvaginal ultrasound bill. This bill would allow transvaginal ultrasounds to be performed on women without their consent. Because he’s decided to make such healthcare decisions for women, both female and male constituents visited his Facebook page and left comments:
Of course these comments have since been deleted, but this is exemplifies how US politicians utilize social networking sites and how useful it is at reaching the people (although, negative for the Senator in this case : P).
Though, politicians aren’t the only ones using social networking sites to further their cause. The people are, too! Facebook page SlutWalk works to bring awareness to rape culture and victim blaming. The cause also has various sub–pages according to locations around the world. The SlutWalk pages share links of current political issues pertaining to their cause in order to bring awareness. Then, they organize events and promote signing online petitions to politicians to further their goals, as well.
These are just two examples of this growing phenomenon of utilizing the internet for political means in the US. This strategy serves a variety of purposes. For example, it reaches many people very quickly. Also, it reaches a younger audience more effectively. The internet is a very effective tool that is now used not only as a form of entertainment, but also as platform for the propaganda of political purposes.