I had the privilege on Election Day to speak with Marshall Ramsey of SuperTalk Mississippi, an FM radio station, about social media as I did back in September. This time, the topic was how social media is changing the electoral process. I spoke specifically about how people were using social media to document that they voted. For example, many people announced on Twitter or Facebook that they had voted. They also shared locations of polling places and offers to drive people to the polls if necessary.
Also new this year was the role of Instagram, the photo-sharing social media.People were sharing pictures of themselves voting and, even sharing their ballot. (This became a bit of an issue, as instagramming one’s ballot may be illegal in some states.)
I told Marshall I think this had a real positive effect on the electorate. We should be proud to vote, and I am happy that social media played a role in it.
However, social media also had a negative side in the weeks leading up to the election. People used it to support their own political agenda, sometimes raising the ire of their Facebook friends. I know I contemplated unfriending at least one person who kept post untrue statements about the candidate I support. I know I wasn’t alone. But I’d rather this downside to social media than not be able to engage.
You can listen to my full interview: Social Media and the Election. Or you can download it yourself from the SuperTalk Mississippi site. Once there, search the archives for the Marshall Ramsey show on Nov. 6, 2012.