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Social media changing the way politicians campaign

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DE PERE - The message of those running for president is the same every four years, but the way that announcement is made, has changed.It's all thanks to social media and the Internet has an influence on political campaigns.In a time where Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube capture the attention of millions of people in an instant, a candidate's online presence is hard to ignore."One of the major benefits of being on social media is you get to connect directly with your supporters without the filter of other media. You have people who are following you, they get the message directly from you, which means it's absolutely unaltered and you have a little bit more control over it," said Mark Glantz, assistant professor of communication and media studies at St. Norbert College.Even on a local level Representative John Macco keeps up to date with his Twitter and Facebook Fan Page. But there's one benefit social media has that didn't exist in the past."It's benefited us by being able to target specific folks within our district so we can be very precise as to where those messages are going," said State Rep. John Macco, R-Ledgeview.While Macco says his political messages are important, he also likes to have a little fun online."I got quite a few comments on this. This was just me packing my lunch. I think people think it's fascinating that I would pack a lunch and bring sandwiches," Macco said.Today's technology allows instant communication with your followers, fans and potential voters. But sometimes social media comes with a price."Sometimes that means you're not proofreading it very well, sometimes that means you're going to get a real emotional message out there that you wish you could have back later but there's no such thing as getting it back because that's going to exist in cyberspace, basically, forever," Glantz said.While many of the potential candidates will try to avoid online flubs, those lesser known candidates may be able to gain support with the help of social media.The Pew Research Center says as of January 2014, 74 percent of online adults use social networking sites.
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