Social Media Impact on Voters

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(East Stroudsburg, Monroe County WBRE/WYOU) – Young voters are expected to show up in record numbers this election season and social media is becoming a powerful campaign tool.

You may have seen some of the thousands of memes while checking your social media pages.  From hashtags on Twitter, to Facebook pages to Instagram posts, political memes are everywhere.

“Just my entire feed inundated with political posts,” East Stroudsburg University Junior Jeremy Rigotti said.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, memes, they are funny photos or videos with captions, which spread throughout the internet for entertainment purposes, but this campaign season they are being used even more for the purpose of getting political views across.  The target audience is younger voters like college senior Nicole Narke.

“100% yeah I think that since the 2012 election the internet has done nothing but go towards the political campaign and push younger voters,” Narke said.

During this loud, lively and hotly contested presidential campaign, candidates have been compared to everything from dictators, to animals and even fictional characters.  The memes range from covering political policies to personal appearances, all while poking fun of those running to be the next Commander In Chief.

“Memes aren’t articles. They’re not going to sway anyone’s opinion unless they’re really shallow minded.  They’re funny to look at,” Rigotti said.

Although they may not always be factual or unbiased, using social media and memes is seemingly a new way to get more young people talking and hitting the polls.

“I think that they just need to be more careful on whose opinion they trust and what they educate themselves with and where they get their information from,” Narke said.

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