Looking Back: Social Media and the Presidential Election

This past week, the Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Policy, and International Affairs hosted two panels exploring the power of social media in the 2016 presidential election. Of course, the candidates themselves used social media as tools to convey ideas and build popularity. But another interesting aspect of the growing role social media plays is the audience’s role in the conversation. In traditional elections, the media delivered news to the population in a unidirectional stream of information. Only in recent years do the people have such an easy way of “talking back.” One of the benefits of social media in civic participation is that multiple sides of an issue can be shared and the people have the power to be heard by large audiences.


Here is an infographic from Social Media Today showing how Trump and Clinton supporters used social media to participate in the final weeks before the election: