February 19, 2016
—Daniel Kreiss [A version of this piece originally appeared on UCLA Digital Cultures Lab.] Why is Bernie Sanders, the candidate who has so successfully attracted legions of supporters, on social… READ MORE
July 30, 2015
—Karen S. Hoffman [This post is part of the 2016 election series, curated by Victoria A. Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn, co-editors of Controlling the Message.] Since the 2012 election cycle the role… READ MORE
It is that time of the election cycle again, when presidential campaigns are gearing up and preparing for primary contests and, for a select few, general election races. As the would-be presidents seek to turn their electoral dreams into action, they are hiring staff, establishing PACs, and wooing donors. In addition, as they have done in the most recent presidential elections, they are building social media management teams, whose sole responsibility is to promote and shape the candidate’s brand, message, and identity.
In our recent volume, Controlling the Message: New Media in American Political Campaigns, we collected more than a dozen essays that use data collected in real time during the 2012 election cycle to analyze how the new politics of social media affect and are affected by political campaigns. As the 2016 elections approach, we plan to bring you a series of blog posts from authors of those essays that link the scholarly knowledge we have with ongoing developments in the world of politics.
The post that follows is the first of these pieces. Authored by Karen Hoffman of Marquette University, it examines the political rhetoric of comment forums found at online media sites—and makes key observations about what it tells us about conservative Republicans in the current election cycle.