Facebook and the 2012 Election

Every four years, Facebook begins to become a political battleground. As students begin to educate themselves on both sides of the election, arguments of opposing political views can become heated. And as the election results are announced, arguments can boil over.

However, political positions and candidates are not the only topics students are arguing about. Students are debating whether or not these social media mediums should even be used for political discussions.

Many students believe that avid political posters should not use Facebook. They believe that these websites are not the appropriate place for discussion of political beliefs.

“I think that it is inappropriate to debate politics through Facebook because it is designed for shorter comments, which just causes fights,” said Jacqueline Chappo ’15.

Chappo believes that the format of Facebook only allows for political fights, not meaningful discussions. Many students agree. Facebook was designed for short, quick, lighthearted comments on subjects that are less touchy than the election. What begins as easy banter quickly becomes mudslinging on occassions with as much tension as election night.

Jack Dobrich ’13 agrees with Chappo that Facebook should be left alone on election night. “I don’t like to impose my beliefs on everybody else who has the fortune or misfortune of being friends with me on Facebook,” said Dobrich.

However, Mike Holtz ’13 has a different song to sing. Holtz believes that social media is an excellent way for the younger generation to voice their opinions on the election.

“I have political statuses, and quite a few. And I think that though we are students, and many students can’t vote,” said Holtz, “Eventually this is going to be our world and its our responsibility to have a say in it.”

Many concede that the political world is being shifted onto social media websites whether they like it or not. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr all had massive reactions to the presidential election, with Twitter trends “Joe Biden”, “#election2012”, “#fourmoreyears”, “#TeamObama”, and “United States of America” all trending the day after the election.

Whether you like the Facebook politics or not, watching people duke it out on comment threads can be even more interesting than watching the election be announced.