Computing Profession

On Social Networks, Political Campaigns and Threats

Drummond Ltd. Systems engineer Carlos A. Brewer R.

It’s been almost two years since U.S. President Obama was elected in a historical election process that set-up standards for future elections and divided American history in two. The Obama campaign pioneered the mass usage of Internet as a means to raise funds and reach common citizens, trying to get as many votes as possible.

His campaign made mass-use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and others, and his campaign had a nonofficial icon–Obama’s Blackberry, and it was a reflection of what will be used in future political campaigns.

Latin America does, as in many other life situations, follow Obama’s example on Internet usage for political campaigns, and each day more and more political campaigns are using this mass media approach to reach their electors. This is the case, until now; the Internet was previously not considered a mass media by political campaigns and when they realized this fact, the Internet became more effective than traditional mass media.

Continuing on Latin America; Colombia is ad portas of a presidential election, and one of the presidential candidates is pioneering mass usage of social networks (Facebook) to reach as much voters as possible, his name is among the top ten most popular profiles on this social network because it has more than 500,000 followers. Does this guarantee his election as president of Colombia? Nobody knows, but his competitors on this campaign realized the power of Internet and are trying to recover lost time, but I think it is too late.

What makes a person so popular on social networks? Several reasons; first, people may feel attraction to its profile or proposals (on campaigns); second, freshness of information, as many users of the Internet feel attraction to Web sites with fresh contents, and a site with old or outdated content will see how its visitors per day gradually be reduced; these are some reasons why this presidential candidate has so many followers.

Social networks are also a source of threats and problems, and in this situation, politicians from both sides of the river (with and against the government) are being threatened. 

Threats are normal part of every society, so it was a matter of time for that aspect of society were reflected on the Internet. This aspect must receive special attention and, as in real life, those situations must be controlled by the Internet community itself  because it is the power of society that can set standards.

As described in books and movies, humanity is becoming a global community thanks to the Internet era and telecommunications–this is the chance to solve most of mankind problems via this community and learn.

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