05 DEC 2019
5 MIN READ
Several years ago we had never heard of the term Fake News, however, we now measure our politicians by the number of lies they tell rather than the content of their manifestos. In this brave new world, social media has now evolved into a political battleground.
This week we look at its increasing importance and how the political parties are using it.
Online political advertising has been said to have played a major part in numerous elections in the past, such as David Cameron’s unexpected majority in 2015 or Jeremy Corbyn’s come back in 2017. Political parties believe that this will be a decisive factor this time too, and they’ve invested a huge amount of human and financial resources to support their efforts. Social media is now used heavily to help achieve the main objectives of the “ground war”, i.e. steering the election narrative, persuading voters and ultimately getting them out to vote.
Twitter may be the platform that conversations start on, but with considerably less users than other social media giants, it’s the cross pollination of tweets that really gets the party started. Recently we’ve seen a rise in the number of screenshotted tweets that our friends, celebs or, in this case, political parties are sharing on Facebook and Instagram. With so many more people seeing these conversation starters, the question that comes to mind is how influential will these screenshots be when the 12th of December dawns?
Once the domain of a billion pictures of the perfect salad, Instagram has found itself front and centre of the political arena. From bitesize manifestos to selfies with famous parents, the Guardian has ranked the parties’ use of the platform as they look to win over younger voters in the run up to the General Election.