The politics of Twitter: Presidential debate is most tweeted political event in history
By the end of the night of the DNC there had been a total of close to 4 million tweets, a little more than total tweets throughout the entire GOP Convention combined. In total the DNC brought in around 9.5 million tweets. Tweets per minute at the end of Romney's speech reached 14,289.
WHO USES TWITTER?
A common argument surrounding Twitter is that more Democrats are users than Republicans. Twitter users are 33 percent more likely to be Democrats, according to recent findings from the Social Habit, a site that tracks social media usage. The study found that 40 percent of tweeters were self-reported Democrats, 23 percent were Independent and 22 percent were Republican.
But is Twitter use changing anything? Is the tweet volume "just noise?" Though social media may not be causing major movement towards the ballots in the U.S., many experts believe it is changing the way politicians handle themselves and their campaigns.
"Social media will, and should, continue to play an important role in our political discourse," Wesley Donehue, a Republican Internet consultant said in an editorial for CNN. "But the trend has grown so quickly; I don't know that anyone has really stopped to consider the implications of moment-by-moment, real-time transparency."
While social media can be a positive reinforcement for the campaigns of many politicians, Donehue said there are major ways in which its use can inhibit politicians.
"Too many politicians aren't voting their conscience, they're voting to placate blog commenters, and that's no way to run government," Donehue said.
That’s a good thing, Joe Trippi, a popular political strategist, said. "This medium demands authenticity ... Authenticity is something politicians haven’t been used to.”
When the national elections, and specifically the debates, were only available through television and radio it created a disconnect between speaker and audience, Trippi said, but with social media the interaction at least feels real and personal.
To follow the popularity of the Presidential candidates on twitter go to the Twitter Political Index, or Twindex, go to: election.twitter.com
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