Role of social media in the election - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Role of social media in the election

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Are you tired of all the political talk on Facebook?

There's a lot of it, and some people take it so seriously, they're losing friends over it.

If it's happening to you, don't be surprised.

One Heartland expert said the role of social media in this election cycle is unprecedented.

"They either really like trump and hate Hillary, or like Hillary and hate Trump," Nathan Doty, a Southeast Missouri State University student, said.

It's no doubt all over your social media feed- comments and plenty of criticism, leveled at both presidential candidates, especially after each debate.

"Definitely it's exploded a lot Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all of it," Madalynn Brown, another Southeast Missouri State University student, said.

Jason Sides is an assistant professor of Political Science at Southeast Missouri State University.

"Twitter is becoming more important and if you look at the three candidates who have tended to use it the most it was Clinton, Sanders and Trump," Sides said. "There was a pew research study that came out that said they use it more and in different ways."

But Sides said all the negatives online can impact how you feel about the election.

"You know them and you love them," Doty said. "But when you see something, it could probably like change your opinion on them, and it could either make you not like them at all, or you could still be friends with them, but have different opinions on stuff."

"I've had a lot of people say they are deleting friends of Facebook and that they've removed people from their lives based on who they feel like they should vote for," Ron Ray said. "I think everybody should be open about their political opinion I don't think you should be judged for it politics is about agreeing and disagreeing."

So, whether you choose to delete a friend or not, Professor Sides said there's no doubt this election's being fueled by words, not just from these candidates, but from your computer screen.

"When people go back and look at this after the fact, they'll think a lot of it was social media that's kind of phenomenal."

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