Whats Next DC Live Blogging, Katie Harbath, Political Campaigns & Facebook

Katie Harbath from Facebook kicked off her presentation by noting that there are more Facebook users in the U.S. that are eligible to vote than there were voters in the 2008 election. However, Facebook users are more likely to be involved politically than people that aren’t using Facebook. The reason for this, according to Harbath, is that people are able to share their support for candidates in an open forum, encouraging political activism.

Obama, in certain campaign ads, including some on his website, is not pictured and his name is in a small font. What there is are social media buttons. The reason behind this is that if the post is modest, it won’t encourage negative reactions as much as a post with Obama’s face or his name enlarged.

Facebook is also encouraging political activism by making it easy to register on candidates websites. Rather than a page asking for what seems like a never ending amount of information (age, sex, email, ect), all you have to do is log into your Facebook account. It still provides the candidate with the information, but much more quickly and simple for the user.

Candidates may also purchase advertisements on Facebook, which are targeted towards supporters and independent voters, helping gain positive exposure as well.

Facebook is an important tool for candidates, and if they aren’t maximizing their (positive) Facebook coverage, they are at a huge disadvantage.

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