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Policy & Governance Response

With the explosion in social media, it would seem rather obvious that social media holds the key to elections in the future. Obama was able to leverage social media to get a younger demographic to go vote (mostly for him). This is a great thing of the country, not only trying to get the younger people to vote but also getting people in general out to vote in greater numbers. The problem, as we can see from Weinergate, is that we all are still human and don’t always do the maximally smart thing. In the Weinergate case we know it was actually Anthony Weiner sending those photos and tweets. In many cases, though, it is not clear whether or not the actual person who is supposed to be controlling the account in fact is.

This ambiguity creates an interesting disconnect. If I know that someone else is running the account though the account is supposed to be displaying the interesting person’s thoughts and comments, then I am more likely to be skeptical of what is going to be displayed on the account. Social media is generally less censored than other forms of media. Most of it is publish then filter (which in many cases involves deleting) rather than edit then publish. Aids are going to be careful with what they say on the Twitter feed and are less likely to engage the people responding to the comments because their comments could be construed as as Twitter holder’s words. This stifles meaningful conversation and further strengthens cherry-picking comments and responses which does nothing for conversation or furthering society except through dogma.

But also what about ghost accounts? It is well known that many celebrities have an alternate account that they use that is not their normal, forward-facing Twitter feed. What does this do to their credibility? Especially if you know they have an alternate account, does that affect what you think and read by them? I think so because you look at the mediated feed and wonder what he or she is actually thinking. I am not advocating for a society always says what they are thinking and or always censors itself, but social media presence really makes people either appear more clean and thoughtful in their comments or simply more human and allow us to peer into their minds.

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