YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Twitter has made the 2016 presidential election one of the more controversial in history.
The social media site is celebrating its 10th birthday Monday, and the candidates’ ability to instantly send out their thoughts and the public’s ability to interact with them easily has made this year’s race one of the more cyber-connected too.
GOP front-runner Donald Trump has even had his tweets brought up in several interviews and debates.
I asked several local politicians on their thoughts of involving Twitter in politics. They all had mixed feelings.
“The good is, you can directly connect with voters share with them articles, ideas, thoughts that you’re having from moment to moment,” U.S. Representative Tim Ryan said. “And the other side is, it can be distracting.”
“It’s democratized the media in the sense that it’s not just three networks and a few big newspapers don’t dominate, but it’s also brought a level of nastiness,” U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said.
State Senator Joe Schiavoni said it’s become another process in his work as an elected official.
“Just like a phone call, a constituent knows when they message you as an elected official that a you see it, and they want some sort of feedback,” Schiavoni said.
But it’s not just politicians using Twitter to get their voices heard, especially in important matters. YSU President Jim Tressel tweets regularly to relay information to his students.
“We found out that it can do both reactionary communication, when you need to get some people finding out some really important things real fast,” Tressel said.
He told me this past fall when someone painted ISIS’s name on a school landmark, a lot of students turned to twitter to find out if it was real or not.
“Fortunately, knock on wood, not too many times where it’s needed to be that emergency platform, but when it has been the case, it’s been there for us,” Tressel said.
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