Social Media's Impact on US Political Agenda - Paper Example

Published: 2023-12-30
Social Media's Impact on US Political Agenda - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Business Political science Social media
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 908 words
8 min read


The popularity of social media in the past decade has affected many aspects such as lifestyles, business, and communication, and politics. The ability to share information from remote and urban areas has made it possible for politicians to do campaigns on social media platforms. Also, the ready audience in these platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, encourage social media politics. Consequently, information shared on these platforms is posed to filtering, alteration, misrepresentation, and misinterpretation. This paper is an analysis of how social media affects the media agenda setting concerning political elections in the United States.

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Social media platforms are used for political persuasion. The politicians use social media to set the political agenda through communication and awareness (Gilardi, 2020). A picture is worth a thousand words; hence, politicians share their photos alongside other influential leaders to create an image for the audience. Other than pictures, politicians use videos and conversational posts to capture the attention of the citizens. Through these posts, they announce their intentions of running for offices and influence the voters during elections. Politicians shares ideas, promises, and suggestions about policy changes, and with the support of the social media audience, they become popular and eventually elected. During campaigns, various politicians in the United States have used social media to persuade voters to vote for them (Brichacek, 2018). For example, in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump used Twitter to bluntly state facts and tarnish Hillary Clinton’s reputation, hence gaining a large number of voters. I chose this example because it was a great strategy for Donald. The example supports my opinion in showing how social media platforms are crucial to political decision making.

Another use of social media in politics is to spread misconceptions. 62% of Americans receive political information through social media. What the receivers do not know is that the information is usually filtered. The political agenda setting presented to social media users is biased and scripted (Gilardi, 2020). Also, it is through these platforms that misinformation is shared. The democrat’ supporters may share false information about some republican politicians to win their hearts and influence their voting choices. The Republican supporters may also do the same. Indeed, politicians use social media platforms to spread rumors and lies about their competitors to turn the voters to their side. An excellent example of a misconception shared on Facebook is the rigging of the 2016 election. Donald Trump started the accusations of an election being rigged on Twitter, and when the news got to Facebook, they became facts that the American citizens stood up for. I chose this example to show how social media users believe any information they find. The example supports my opinion my showing how inaccurate information is spread in social media.

Social media acts as watchdogs for democracy. Social media users often push for political changes in defense of democracy (Gilardi, 2020). Many times are when changes in policies have been influenced by social media rants. Twitter users are known to be democracy watchers and will not hesitate to demand justice. During campaigns, the candidates winning in polls elections are trended to make them famous. Also, injustices are made to trend in seek of justice. During elections, social media users are amongst the American voters hence stays alert for the democracy to be practiced. For example, during the 2016 election, Donald Trump said he would not accept the election results because some states' votes had been rigged. He took to Twitter, where he asked the citizens to demand democracy in recounting the votes of the states. Some of those counties were Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Donald had won, and the votes went to recount. I chose this example because it shows the power of social media upon an election.

Lastly, social media platforms are used to induce decision making in political elections. Election polls are the major sources that predict or rather give the undecided voter the last decision. Many voters who may not be interested in the two top candidates may find it hard to decide who they will vote. Also, republican and democrat supporters need a direction of voting by having an opinion poll motivation. Opinion polls are done and posted on social media to make the final decision (Brichacek, 2018). The polls significantly influence who wins the election because many undecided voters vote for the winning candidate. Besides the professional opinion polls, social media users tend to conduct their polls through which their decisions are influenced.


Social media plays both a positive and negative role in setting the political agenda, especially during elections. Both politicians and citizens of the United States engage in social media conversations regarding politics. The politicians do campaigns in their favor and against their opponents. Also, the platforms are used to spread false information, which negatively affects users. Social media users act as watchdogs for justice and democracy who pushes posts and conversations until they find changes. The platforms like Twitter and Facebook are open for the Americans to make their final decisions during elections. Their decisions are influenced by opinion polls, facts, and false information available on the platforms. Therefore, social media is a significant factor that influences the outcome of elections in the United States.


Brichacek, A. (2018, December 4). Six ways the media influence elections. School of Journalism and Communication.

Gilardi, F. (2020). Social Media and Political Agenda Setting.

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