27 October 2015

Facebook Comments Addendum

You read last Friday’s blog post, Facebook Comments Matter, right? You saw research that found Facebook comments by anyone influence perceptions of a political candidate. If that wasn’t enough to raise your concerns about our fellow voters, last July, the Pew Research Center released a study report that gives even more weight to Facebook comments.
Social media can be overwhelming.
(multiple websites)

Pew Research Center Survey

The center, in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, conducted a survey of 2,035 U.S. adults to gauge the use of social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, as sources of news about everything but family and friends.

The primary finding for Facebook was that 63% of users get news via the Facebook site. That translates to some 41% of all U.S. adults, Facebook users and non-users! It’s also an increase of 16% since 2013, when a similar survey was conducted, and the increase cuts across gender, race, age, education and household income.

Now get this: 32% of Facebook users post items about politics and government, 28% comment on such posts and 43% “like” such posts. And that’s just Facebook.

I think the numbers help explain how, last summer, 15-year old Brady Olson could launch a social media campaign that got an invented presidential candidate, Deez Nuts, on the ballot in 30 states. Less than a month after filing, Mr. Nuts was polling 7% to 9% in Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina.

Filing for Candidacy

By the way, if you ever have any interest in filing as a presidential candidate and aren’t ready to hire Mr. Olson, you only have to submit a Statement of Candidacy Form 2 to the Federal Election Committee. There’s no fee.

When I looked, there were 1,217 Presidential Form 2 filers for the 2016 election. (That’s almost triple the number in 2012.) Donald Trump was number 1,108 on the alphabetical list of this election’s filers. Number 1 on the list was Dot Com A WandrLustr. Mr. A WandrLustr is affiliated with the Prohibition Party, which probably won’t do well even in Connecticut, his home state. 

Donald Trump’s FEC Form 2 Statement of Candidacy. (from www.fec.gov/fecviewer/CandidateCommitteeDetail.do?candidateCommitteeId=P80001571&tabIndex=3)

Pew Research Center survey: www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/14/5-key-takeaways-about-twitter-facebook-and-news-use/
Deez Nuts website and example article on Brady Olson’s campaign:
Information about FEC registration and reporting forms:
FEC’s 2016 Presidential Form 2 filers:

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