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YouTube Election April 4, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.

Welcome to the Web 2.0 US presidential campaign. This could shape up to be the first YouTube influenced presidential election, for better or worse.

We can already see that the communication tools exemplified by social networking sites like YouTube and MySpace will be used for all they’re worth.

The takeoff on Apple’s revolutionary 1984 ad depicting Hillary Clinton as Big Brother may herald a campaigning style on YouTube defined by anonymous political video gibes.

In theory, anyone can make an ad supporting a candidate or denouncing an opponent. If the ad is popular with YouTube viewers, it gets voted to the top of the site where even more people can see it. Welcome to democracy, Internet-style.

The problem with Web 2.0 tools is the anonymity they give creators. Anyone can create an ad and slap a candidate’s name and logo on it under the cloak of anonymity.

That’s what happened with the Hillary Clinton video – a biting commentary on her presumed frontrunner status for the Democratic nomination. The ad apparently supports opponent Barack Obama, suggesting it was generated by his campaign.

Obama denies knowledge of it, suggesting instead that it was made by Clinton supporters to smear him. Did anyone ask why one Democratic candidate would produce a video like that against another?

It’s early days yet to conclude that this is all an overblown tempest in a teapot. But things can only get stupider. Expect more such remixes, spoofs and potshots.

This is just one example of how social media will impact the cultural landscape. The 2008 Presidential Elections is just getting started. We’ll know after it is over if the power of new forms of media was a good thing or not.



1. PoliticalCritic - April 4, 2007

Agreed! This is a YouTube election. All the candidates have videos out there and they all raise significant amounts of money through the Internet.

2. khengze - April 5, 2007

Certainly looks like things can only get sillier with remixes amd mash-ups.

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