Message Control at the Margins
This concluding chapter discusses some of the important lessons for operating in a political environment driven by social media. First, political candidates and others must remember that the fundamentals of running a campaign—from developing a message that will draw voters, to getting them to turn out and actually vote for the candidate—are just as critical in this new media age as they have been in the past. Second, the effects of social media usage, particularly in terms of controlling political messages, occur in many ways at the margins, noting that various factors condition both perceptions derived through social media mechanisms and the relationship between online and offline political participation. Another lesson relates to the normative questions about the consequences for democracy of new media's power to enhance participation of ordinary citizens in the political discourse. This chapter ends by asking whether the advent of social media in contemporary politics will usher in an era of voter-centered election campaigns.
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