Even before the campaign began, the question of the place of the web in it was being asked. For somethe election was to be played partly on the web, whereas for some the campaign couldn't be digital. Now that the presidential election's over, what's the bottom line? What was the role of the web? Did it have a influence about the campaign?
The web as a tool...for communication, mobilization and activism.
Candidates and their campaign teams used the web for several purposes.
Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or even by email, the candidates obviously used the internet above all for their direct communication. While email was used to communicate directly with activists and supporters, social media was used to disseminate the candidates' comments on the web.
The teams also set up sites to mobilize their activists. For example, like MyBO for Obama, François Hollande's team set up a site to mobilize their activists. AllHolland. The idea: use the power of the web to mobilize, both online and offline (door to door, towing...)
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One of the biggest novelties of the web campaign was the creation of the famous Ripostes Party. These were set up for the first time by François Hollande's web team on the evening of the Le Bourget meeting. The idea of the system is simple: to gather web activists to support their candidate during a TV appearance or during a big meeting. The activists of each candidate then engage in a real war of hashtags, trying to raise theirs in "trending topic" on Twitter.
It is difficult to precisely identify the impact of the use of social media. But with Facebook having 25 million users in France and Twitter 5 million, it is obvious that they cannot be neglected. At the very least, it is better for each candidate to try to occupy the field rather than leave it to his opponent .
The web, a space for debate and information for citizens
Beyond a simple communication channel for the candidates, the web was above all a means for the French to debate, exchange and inform themselves. Ahe survey carried out by the CSA Institute for Orange and Terrafemina showed that for 40% of the French, the web was the second source of information.
Exchanges and debates have flourished on the web, whether on Facebook, Twitter or blogs. Beyond the "classic" debates, the web has also enabled the dissemination of numerous parodies, such as lavraietimeline.fr for example.
One of the most striking moments of this web campaign will undoubtedly remain the appearance of #RadioLondon, launched during the weekend of the first round. While electoral law prohibits the broadcast of any results or polls before Sunday 8pm, Twitters users used the #RadioLondon hashtag to broadcast news "coded" in the manner of broadcasts from England during the Second World War.
Finally, this campaign saw the massive emergence of FactChecking. Several media have used the web to offer checksIn the course of the campaign, the candidates were informed, sometimes in near real time, of all the figures and information given by the candidates during their meetings or media appearances.
In the end, this quick study shows that while the web has not revolutionized the election, it has brought several interesting innovations. It has allowed for better communication, better mobilization, and allowed citizens to become better informed.
To go further, you can find the highlights of the campaign in this pearltree.
Article published in :http://fr.locita.com/technology2/web/presidential-2012-whatever-role-for-web/ - May 22, 2012)
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