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Open Password – Freitag,
den 14. Februar 2020

# 706


Social Media – Elia Johannes Panskus – American Power Structure – Minorities – Campaigning – Usage – Pew Research Center – Facebook – Twitter – Barack Obama – Financing Campaigns – Brenda Carter – Political Parties – Michelle Obama – Alexandria Occasio Cortez – Ilhan Omar – Jahana Hayes – Congress – Democratic Party – Liberal Democrats – Bonnier – US-Magazine – Elsevier – Chemtiva – YouGov – Recommend+ – Equifax – NeuroDecision – Axiom – Bliss Lawyers – Public Library of Science – Science of Stories Collection – EPO – China National Intellctual Property Administration – Euromonitor – Via – WSI – Outsell

Social Media

A tool to empower minorities
in American politics?


By Elia Johannes Panskus, Carl Duisberg Fellow 2019, New York


Introduction: Social Media development in the United States


If we consider the fact, that more and more minorities without big financial resources and without a supporting influential network become part of the American power structure, like the congress, and moreover, if we consider the fact, that these minorities use social media instead: Does that mean, that social media is an instrument for candidates without influential networks and large amounts of money to increase their prominence and thereby ultimately leads to their election? Can social media be a tool to become successfully a part the American power structure?

This scientific evaluation will follow this thesis and try to find answers. During this work, I spoke with experts in the fields of social media, American politics and campaigning. Some are quoted anonymously here and many findings of this work are based on statements by these experts. In addition to that, a lot of studies were evaluated to work out a serious base for this paper. To compare the answers, the base for the conversations was a consistent questionnaire.

Social Media in the USA. The shapes of our communication are changing all over the world and in the United States. So we see that social media has become a very important media channel, especially for young people. In the United States are 246.7 million social media users. Experts predict that the number of social media users will be at 257.4 million in 2023[1] which would mean, that in 2023 nearly 80 percent of American citizens use social media. Already 90 percent of young people between the ages 18 and 29 use social media networks actively. Today Americans spend 1.14 hours per day on social media networks.[2] All experts I spoke agree with: „In the future, digital communication channels

[1] „United States: number of social network users 2017-2023“,, 2019

[2] „Social Media Use in 2018“, PEW Research Center, 2018

will play an increasingly important role“. We can also see a big impact on the news landscape in America. For a long time television and newspapers were the general source of news. Daily newspapers and local TV were the common media in the early 2000s. 42 percent of the Americans got their news from newspapers and 59 percent watched local TV news.[1] These numbers dropped sharply. In 2018, just 16 percent of Americans reported in a survey of the PEW Research Center, that they use newspapers as a source for news; in 2016 this value was 20 percent. This was the first time since Pew Research Center began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers. In 2018, social media networks finally overtook newspaper as a news source.

In addition, news diets differ drastically for younger and older Americans. A majority of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 use social media as their primary news source with 36 percent in 2018, followed by news websites with 27 percent. Media channels such as television and newspaper are falling behind. Just 2 percent of young people between 18 and 29 are reading print newspapers anymore. After all television is remaining on the third place with 16 percent.

[1] „Where Americans Go for News“, PEW Research Center, 2019

Social media in American politics. “Social media is a megaphone, and you have to use it!” one of the experts told me. Indeed social media networks have become an important part of American ways of communication. Social media have also become ubiquitous communication channels for politicians, especially for candidates during election campaigns. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter enable candidates to directly reach out to voters, mobilize supporters, and influence the public agenda. Social media have become an alternative channel to classical channels like newspapers, television and radio.

Already the campaign of Barack Obama in 2007 used Social Media very intensively „[…] as an integral part of its strategy, to raise money, and, more importantly, to develop a groundswell of empowered volunteers who felt they could make a difference.“[1] We can certainly say that in 2007 with the Obama campaign social media has arrived as a tool in American politics. The Obama campaign „changed the way elections were run and would be run in the future. He and his team showed the power of social media and technology and more importantly, that individuals could make a difference if given the right tools and encouragement.“[2]

Social media networks can bring certain possibilities into American politics: In contrast to most countries, election processes in the United States cost billions of dollars. Not just becoming President is an expensive project. As an example: The election for President in 2016 costs about 2.7 Billion euro. In France, the election for President in 2012 costs 66 million euro and the election for parlament in Germany in 2013 just 65 million euro in total. Even to become a member of Congress or Senate it is necessary to exhaust a mass of resources. A study of MapLight shows, running for Congress in 2012 costs about 1.7 million dollars. Running for Senate costs even more, about 10,5 million dollars in 2012.[3] Compared to Germany candidates for the Bundestag sometimes spend up to 70.000 euro.[4]

Moreover, not just financial resources are necessary to become a part of the American political power structure. There is also a supporting and influential network required, which helps either to collect money or to support candidates within the party. „It is more like trying to be inducted into a fraternity,“ Brenda Carter, director of the Reflective Democracy Campaign, told The Washington Post. „I think the No. 1 problem are the political parties and other gatekeepers who choose candidates.“[5] A study from 2013, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives shows that the superrich, getting richer every day, have a increased willingness to spend large sums on election[6]. 66 percent of American people think that wealthy people have more influence on the election process. „If you want to have influence in the American political process“, Michelle Obama in 2014 advised an audience, „there’s only one thing to do: Write a big, fat check… Write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write.“ That means, if candidates do not have a network with rich and influential supporters, they are not able to run through a successful campaign.

Several candidates made history with their victories in the midterm elections 2018. Several minority candidates were voted into congress, such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Jahana Hayes. Most of these candidates were not able to summon up resources like their opponents. That is why it is even more remarkable, that since 2017 the number of minorities in Congress is rising. In 2015 just 15 percent of the new members of Congress were also members of a minority. In 2017 already 34 percent of new members of Congress were also members of a minority.

Social media networks were already important in the US presidential election 2007. In the presidential election 2017, especially Twitter was of a great importance. It can be assumed, that social media were of a great importance in the elections for Senate and Congress too. In the future social media will become more and more important in elections all over the world.

In the Democratic Party the proportion of minorities is significantly higher than in the Republican Party. Additionally, the PEW Research center has discovered that Liberal Democrats are more likely than other groups be politically active on social media.[7] Democrats running for House, Senate and governor’s seats in the midterm elections 2018 received a combined 15.1 million interactions on Facebook in the 30-day period, roughly three times the 5.4 million interactions received by Republican candidates.[8] Especially young members of minorities, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know how to use social media to their advantage.

Part II will follow shortly: Minorities in American Politics – Money and Networks as Decisive Factors – Social Media and Minorities – Social Media: A chance for minorities in US politics

[1] „Obama and the power of social media and technology“, Victoria Chang, The Business Review, 2010

[2] „Obama and the power of social media and technology“, Victoria Chang, The Business Review, 2010

[3] „What’s the Cost of a Seat in Congress?“, Jay Costa,, 2013

[4] “Wenn Wahlkampf eine Frage des Geldes ist“, Miguel Helm, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2017

[5] „Despite Diverse Demographics, Most Politicians Are Still White Men“, Alexa Lardieri,, 2017

[6] “Why Hasn’t Democracy Slowed Rising Inequality?”, Bonica, McCarty, T. Poole, Rosenthal, 2013

[7] “Liberal Democrats more likely than other groups to be politically active on social media”, PEW Research Center, Anderson, Jiang, 2018

[8] “Who’s Winning the Social Media Midterms?”, The New York Times, Roose, Collins, 2018

Bonnier erwägt Verkauf seiner US-Magazine

Bonnier Corp., publisher of such magazines as Field & Stream, Saveur and Yachting, has been meeting with bankers to explore its options, including the possible sale of the unit that holds most of its magazines, according to people familiar with the situation.

Elseviers neue Lösung für Chemie-Professionals. Elsevier announced the launch of Chemtiva, a digital solution designed to enable chemical industry professionals to make more informed decisions across the product lifecycle. Chemtiva integrates scientific and commercial information into a single platform addressing information and data needs and supporting cross-functional collaboration between R&D, scale-up and EHS (environment, health and safety) functions.

Markenpromotoren besser erkennen. YouGov has launched a consumer advocacy solution called Recommend+, to provide brands with data about the attitudes and behaviour of existing and potential brand ‚promoters‘. Recommend+ offers an NPS (Net Promoter Score) diagnostics approach to help marketers identify what drives consumer advocacy. The solution allows marketers to evaluate the importance of factors such as brand image, brand values, emotion and consumer personality.

NeurDecision erhöht Kreditmöglichkeiten. Equifax, announced the grant of a new utility patent that can help millions of consumers secure prime or near prime offers. The U.S. patent is for the company’s second generation NeuroDecision Technology. Developed by scientists in the Equifax Data & Analytics Lab, NeuroDecision uses Explainable Artificial Intelligence (xAI) to help lenders approve more consumers for credit without taking on additional risk.

Anwältenetzwerk vergrößern und effektuieren. Axiom, the provider of on-demand legal talent, announced it has acquired Bliss Lawyers, a provider of flexible legal talent. The acquisition will expand Axiom’s network of lawyers globally. An expanded network enables Axiom to more effectively help companies reimagine their legal departments, by providing access to the right legal expertise to achieve their business goals. Equally important, it also empowers more lawyers to reimagine their legal careers.

Call for Papers für datenbezogene Primärforschung. Public Library of Science is pleased to introduce PLOS ONE’s Science of Stories Collection, which includes submissions invited through a Call for Papers last year. The Call for Papers welcomed primary research papers that propose solutions to real world, data-rich problems that use different empirical methods. At launch, the Collection includes over 15 papers illustrating data-driven approaches to understanding stories and their impact.

Europäisch-chinesische Kooperation für Patentanmeldungen. A joint agreement was announced by the EPO and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) to provide patent applicants filing an international patent application, in English, at the CNIPA as Receiving Office, the option to select the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA).This new option is expected to be implemented this year as a two-year pilot programme.

Preistracking in der Konsumgüterindustrie. By tracking over 15 million stock keeping units across consumer goods industries globally, Via – a new pricing intelligence solution developed by Euromonitor International, will help organisations highlight price changes and discounting activities, benchmark against competitors, and inform investment decisions by providing context to an ever-challenging e-commerce environment

Quelle: WSJ, Outsell.

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