Social media and presidential election: Kent State professor examines impact of YouTube, MySpace

October 31, 2008

Dr. Paul Haridakis, associate professor of Communication Studies at Kent State University and a long-time scholar in the area of the impact of media on the political landscape in the U.S., is investigating the impact of hugely popular social media's impact on the upcoming presidential contest.

Haridakis, who is currently conducting research with Gary Hanson, associate professor of Journalism & Mass Communication and doctoral students on the role of YouTube in elections, says that even though expenditures by candidates on television ads continue to increase exponentially, this presidential election will be the first time in which social media, such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook, will play a significant role in persuading the electorate. He adds that the technology and use of these tools is so new, that extensive study on the role of these social and mass media is still underway. Its impact on the 2008 presidential race, Haridakis says, can only be imagined.

"Many people," Haridakis says, "will watch videos and use traditional media like TV to acquire political information about the candidates, but they also are going to the Internet and using social networking sites to see who people they know support. The information gleaned from their social networks may be the information they find most credible and persuasive.

"They'll listen to their buddy on his MySpace page, not necessarily the traditional messengers that candidates employ to reach out to the voters, or even the candidates themselves.

"That exploits the power of social media pretty well," Haridakis says. "The candidates in this election season have not fully harnessed the power of these tools."
-end-
Haridakis and Hanson are currently interviewing students to determine what effect social media consumption is having on the students' voting decisions. The research team hopes to publish their findings in the coming months.

Haridakis is available at pharidak@kent.edu, or 330-672-2659.

Kent State University

Related Social Media Articles from Brightsurf:

it's not if, but how people use social media that impacts their well-being
New research from UBC Okanagan indicates what's most important for overall happiness is how a person uses social media.

Social media postings linked to hate crimes
A new paper in the Journal of the European Economic Association, published by Oxford University Press, explores the connection between social media and hate crimes.

How Steak-umm became a social media phenomenon during the pandemic
A new study outlines how a brand of frozen meat products took social media by storm - and what other brands can learn from the phenomenon.

COVID-19: Social media users more likely to believe false information
A new study led by researchers at McGill University finds that people who get their news from social media are more likely to have misperceptions about COVID-19.

Stemming the spread of misinformation on social media
New research reported in the journal Psychological Science finds that priming people to think about accuracy could make them more discerning in what they subsequently share on social media.

Looking for better customer engagement value? Be more strategic on social media
According to a new study from the University of Vaasa and University of Cyprus, the mere use of social media alone does not generate customer value, but rather, the connections and interactions between the firm and its customers -- as well as among customers themselves -- can be used strategically for resource transformation and exchanges between the interacting parties.

Exploring the use of 'stretchable' words in social media
An investigation of Twitter messages reveals new insights and tools for studying how people use stretched words, such as 'duuuuude,' 'heyyyyy,' or 'noooooooo.' Tyler Gray and colleagues at the University of Vermont in Burlington present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 27, 2020.

How social media platforms can contribute to dehumanizing people
A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people.

Social media influencers could encourage adolescents to follow social distancing guidelines
Public health bodies should consider incentivizing social media influencers to encourage adolescents to follow social distancing guidelines, say researchers.

Social grooming factors influencing social media civility on COVID-19
A new study analyzing tweets about COVID-19 found that users with larger social networks tend to use fewer uncivil remarks when they have more positive responses from others.

Read More: Social Media News and Social Media Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.