Twitter Conquers Yet Another Domain: PoliticsOctober 08, 2013
Social media sites have already redefined day-to-day communication and entertainment. Now, however, it seems they are also changing the very way we interact with our political leaders.
The latest example comes from Twitter’s emergence as a go-to message platform for leaders and heads of state. One particularly noteworthy illustration: ambassadors and heads of state recently took to their Twitter Walls during a United Nations General Assembly meeting to discuss Syria’s chemical weapons program. While Twitter is not generally known for disseminating serious information (rather, pop culture hashtags seem more prevalent), tweets from the General Assembly revealed both rote information (when measures would be voted on) in addition to pointed messages explaining each countries’ philosophies.
Social media today thus provides a remarkable window into the governing process, as it is happening. For politicians, Twitter is seen as a vehicle to broadcast a message precisely as it’s intended— without the filtering of traditional media. Said Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, “In today’s society, Twitter is maybe the most rapid and efficient channel, if you want to feed out messages or other information you want to share.”
Now, nary a major international or political event happens without social media involved.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s election this past June is another great example of social media’s influence in the political sphere—except this time it defines how it can provide an instantaneous gauge into the public’s feelings. In fact, Zoomph’s own founder and CEO Ali Manouchehri was able to predict Rouhani’s win two days ahead of the election, thanks to Zoomph’s social media measurement tool. Using an evolutionary influence algorithm to determine Rouhani’s social media influence, Manouchehri was able to then compare that score to other candidates. Put simply: Rouhani’s dominance on social media directly predicted an election win.
Summed up: if social media content can be analyzed to deliver key messages and even accurately predict winners of presidential elections, there might be no limit to its value.