The first social media election – just like all the others

By Toby Manhire In Politics, The Internaut

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tweetelectAccording to several well-placed sources, the New Zealand general election is less than two months away.

And we have been advised to buckle up for “New Zealand’s first real Twitter election”.

Which it may indeed be, but it warrants mentioning that “New Zealand’s first social media election” was declared in 2011.

In fact, a swift Google search suggests that just about every election everywhere in the last decade was the first social media election.

My search engine tells me the US presidential election in 2012 was “the first Facebook election” and the “first Twitter election”, 2010 its “first social networking election”; 2008 was also the “first Facebook election” and the 2006 midterm contest was “the first YouTube election”.

In the UK, 2010 was the “first internet election”. So was 2005. And so was 2001. And 1997.

Best of the lot was 2008, as described in the opening line of an article from Britain’s Sun newspaper: “Barack Obama swept to victory thanks to the first MySpace election campaign in history.”


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