Social movements can bring change in society, and also politics. From Black Lives Matter, to Ferguson, to Occupy Wall Street and more, have all influenced change in politics and helped determine the outcomes of elections. Alex Lovell, a PHD student in Political Science from the University of Utah joined GMU with more on how social movements and social media can help or hinder presidential campaigns.
Social movements can quickly mobilize support or opposition to candidates and their policies. Candidates engage in social movements by attempting to back like-minded social movements to gain support. This gives the presidential hopefuls a nontraditional way of gaining supporters.
” Social media allows for instantaneous communication with others, encouraging us to have an opinion about everything,” said Lovell, “We tend to associate with others that are like minded – when we share a “meme” or material, we are often sharing it with others that will identify with the content and subsequently share. We are doing the heavy lifting for social movements and candidates alike.”
Alex also says social media inevitably provokes a response to an event, causing outrage and overreaction to some of the smallest of things.