Social media in election campaigning

21-03-2014

With the EU facing an apparent democratic deficit, social media may provide a way of countering declining voter turnout. Social media allow political actors to bypass mass-media filters, influence journalists, and target messages to the young, the largest group of social media users. They can be used to organise participation in 'offline' events, and to transmit political messages through social connections. Nevertheless, whilst social media are increasingly used in elections, it may be that they have only a limited effect on getting otherwise disengaged citizens to engage – even just to go out to vote.

With the EU facing an apparent democratic deficit, social media may provide a way of countering declining voter turnout. Social media allow political actors to bypass mass-media filters, influence journalists, and target messages to the young, the largest group of social media users. They can be used to organise participation in 'offline' events, and to transmit political messages through social connections. Nevertheless, whilst social media are increasingly used in elections, it may be that they have only a limited effect on getting otherwise disengaged citizens to engage – even just to go out to vote.