Getting Political Information on Social Networks

As high school and college students rely more on social networking sites as a way to interact with friends, they also begin to use social networking sites as a way to learn more about politics. Social networking sites are especially relevant for the 2008 presidential campaign, since the three top candidates have Facebook and MySpace profiles. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, approximately two-thirds of Americans between ages 18 and 29 access social networking sites.[1] As a result, social networking sites are a convenient way for younger people to learn more about political candidates. In fact, 27% of people under age 30 have learned more about the political campaigns from social networking sites; the number jumps to 37% of people aged between 18 to 24.[1] The fact that so many students and young adults use social networking sites provides an extra incentive for candidates to create social networking profiles. With their online profiles, candidates can ensure that they reach out to younger demographics, and they can encourage young people to vote.

1. The Pew Research Center. "Social Networking and Online Videos Take Off: Internet's Broader Role in Campaign 2008." The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. January 11, 2008.
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