In a new report from MIT Tech Review titled “How Tweets Translate into Votes,” the intellectual powerhouse makes some fairly profound claims.
The agency states, “The role of Twitter in politics has never been more prominent. President Obama, sometimes called the first social-media president, clearly outperformed his rivals in terms of popularity and output. President Trump also uses Twitter, albeit more controversially, to drive debate, air grievances, and set policy.”
The report continues, “Clearly, social media plays a major role in political discourse. Many politicians send hundreds or thousands of messages during election campaigns and invest considerable resources into their social-media presence. And that raises an interesting question. Does this effort translate into votes?”
“Social media use makes a genuinely important difference to electoral campaigns.” https://t.co/ss7JUF4PmH
— MIT Tech Review (@techreview) October 28, 2017
With the prominence of social media in politics and given its vast reach and persuasive potential, how valuable is twitter and other social media to political elections? How much pull does this technological Goliath really harness?
According to a study published out of Cornell University Library representing out of the UK, “The term for change in Twitter use is positive and statistically significant. Those who used Twitter more also improved their vote share outcome.”
The study continues, “The term for change in Twitter use is positive and statistically significant. Those who used Twitter more also improved their vote share outcome.” and “Overall the empirical evidence that Twitter media use does have a positive effect on votes is strong.”
MIT Tech Review adds, “In 2015, 87 percent of incumbent politicians had Twitter accounts, compared with only 73 percent of challengers.
In 2017, the difference was even bigger. In this case, 84 percent of incumbents had accounts, compared with only 58 percent of challengers.”
Mit also pointed out other figures from the study, “MPs that had a Twitter account typically had vote shares around 7- 9% higher than those who did not,” say Bright and co.
“MPs that had a Twitter account typically had vote shares around 7- 9% higher than those who did not,” say Bright and co.
And they calculate that politicians can claim an extra 1 percent share of the vote by increasing the number of tweets they send out by a factor of between 0.28 and 1.75.
That might look like a small increase, but in many districts it would have been decisive.
“Around 14% of the electoral competitions which form the basis of our study were won by a margin of less than 5 percentage points, and 4 percent of them were won by a margin of less than 1 percentage point.”
The entire study can be found here.
Knowing this information it is no wonder independent media outlets and prominent social media powerhouses like Mike Cernovich, receive so much backlash from the political establishment. They are starting to feel the pressure being put onto them from more and more outspoken voices in the newly resurging conservative political movement.
As the use of social media continues to grow I hypothesize that the overall political pull of the users over the establishment’s political aspirations will become so important it will eventually change the entire way that elections are held, across the entire planet.