The internet is playing a much more significant role in politics in recent times, especially social media platforms. Social media and politics have become entwined. It is a significant factor within different political campaigns and also how people consider a lot of political and social concerns. Political candidates have platforms they post from and supporters not only respond to those, but also respond to propaganda and information online, some of it genuine and some of it less so. Here is an overview of how social media affects modern-day politics.

Information 24/7
A huge impact of social media platforms is the speed at which information, rumors and such can be spread. The internet is there 24/7 and it means at any time there can be news, facts, drama and so on reported and spread. People do not have to wait for the television or the papers to give them information. People who use social media tend to do so multiple times a day more than they do visiting news sites or political blogs. As soon as they log in, whatever time it is, they can get information and stories. They can also share that data instantly to their friends and followers.

How it affects the polls
Every campaign has polls that are sometimes good at letting people know which way things will go when they vote, but sometimes are misleading. There are a lot more polls and poll results seen thanks to social media in politics. Social media platforms themselves also hold their own polls. Polls can have a huge impact on how an election goes. If people think a candidate is so far ahead they cannot be caught they might decide not to bother voting at all for example.

Being able to have real contact with politicians
Another great thing about social media and politics becoming more entwined is that is a way to give voters access and connection to the politicians. This is something a lot of people respond to. You do not have to attend a live event to see or interact with them.

Being able to target certain groups
An important part of politics is reaching the different groups of voters and connecting with them, using the right messaging. What women over 30 want to hear is not what men in their 20s want to hear. Social media allows politicians to target specific groups with a message that is more likely to get them to vote in their favor.

Misinformation and conspiracies
One thing that has happened more with social media in politics is the spread of misinformation, rumors and conspiracies. It is a lot easier for these things to travel as people share the news not caring whether it is accurate or not. It is harder to separate real news from misinformation. Voters need to use more discernment when they see the different memes, stories and crazy theories in their feeds. Sometimes this kind of information can cause damage and sometimes it can be advantageous.

Author's Bio: 

The Crossroads of Psychology and Politics, Dr. Lucas Klein that takes aim at the most sensitive topics in American life