The General Election is happening, you can’t escape it – it’s all over Social Media – but is your incessant posting really changing anything?
Celebrities, activists and ‘public figures’ have been pushing people to register to vote since the snap election was announced – Tweets, Instagrams and Facebook posts have been going out on a constant stream encouraging 18-24-year-olds to vote, Snapchat even created a filter to raise awareness and guess what, it worked.
Over 700,000 18-24-year-olds have registered to vote since the snap election was called. Under 25s have sent off nearly 16,000 more applications than any other age group.
The number of school leavers registered to vote has been dropping by more than a quarter over the past three years but figures have surged over recent weeks due to the social media appeals on Facebook and Snapchat, according to The Electoral Reform Society (ERS)
Not only has Social Media encouraged people to register to vote, it’s helping young people find their voices, find their political party and do their own research, without the ‘help’ of right-wing news outlets (Hi, Rupert Murdoch)
The Right-wing media are no longer the primary source of information, 18-24-year-olds rely on social media to get their news, becoming more ‘woke’ to the propaganda and smearing of the Labour party…we all remember that Front Page of Ed Milliband eating a bacon sandwich.
Jeremy Corbyn, in a Vice Documentary, said “There is not one story on any election anywhere in the UK that the BBC will not spin into a problem for me. It’s obsessive beyond belief. They are obsessed with trying to damage the leadership of the Labour party.”
With over 900,000 Twitter Followers the Labour Party leader is campaigning on Social Media as much as he is IRL. Corbyn’s direct line of communication to voters doesn’t go through the BBC, or any other right-wing news outlets. It goes through Facebook and Twitter, allowing the Labour Party to directly communicate with their audience.
Not only has Social Media given Political Parties a ‘fair’ platform to communicate on, it is also allowing people to express their own opinions giving people to chance to hear opposing views.
Pew Research Centre found that 20% of survey respondents say social media has altered their position on a political issue and 17% say it has changed their view of a specific candidate, so expressing your opinions and stating the facts on social media could actually influence and educating one of your friends or followers into voting for the party you are backing.
A great example of this is the #grime4corbyn hashtag, grime artists such as JME have been backing the Labour leader, reaching people who may be uneducated, uninterested or undecided on who to vote for in the upcoming election. Not only does this benefit the political parties, it will also benefit the public, having artists such as JME speak up for young people will help our voices be heard.
In conclusion, yes, your Social Media posts might influence someone but instead of trying to influencing your Social Media peers try to educate them, discuss with them and encourage them to vote.
Don’t forget to register to vote, you only have until 11:59 BST tonight to do so, and don’t forget to actually vote on 8th June, 18-24-year-olds have a bad reputation of not turning up to these things, make sure you use your vote!
*I’m aware this blog post is biased, it’s obvious who I will be voting for on June 8 but that’s a whole other blog post for another day. Be sure to make your own decisions based on facts and policies and VOTE!