Advertising has almost always played a role in political campaigns from handbills in 1828 to the first political television ads in 1952. The 1988 presidential contest was an example of the important role campaigns have in terms of altering the perception of candidates who are not well known. Campaigns are so powerful that West even argues it has changed the observations of the Electoral College. For example, it is believed that candidates need public appeal through longer campaigns whereas before they required the “negotiations with a handful of party leaders.” With the new wave of technology in the past decade, my question in terms of political advertising is how effective is Twitter and other social media outlets? How are those advertisements funded if the websites and sources are location free content? How do you regulate free riders who just post plugs for their campaign favorite?
Walter Lippmann writes about how news is just rumors and speculation. He talks about how sifting through the propaganda in order to find the information important to citizens is difficult. Rand Paul’s YouTube response to Obama’s military action in 2011 was also discussed. How, when one “news content” is solely the opinion of one person, is just as effective as a whole station’s content? What are the benefits and cons of sharing “propaganda” and individual opinions?
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