Talk:Social media

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Jim DeMint and social media

Jim DeMint is one of the few solid guys in Washington D.C. DeMint has 93,000 Twitter fans.[1] Jim DeMint's Facebook page has 137,000 plus likes.[2] DeMint is one of the most active Republicans on social media and definitely one of the most staunchly conservative Republicans. I don't see any evidence of him losing any credibility due to his use of social media. My guess is that he has staff help manage his social media accounts. conservative 15:13, 5 June 2011 (EDT)

Also, my guess is that DeMint uses his Facebook account to raise funds (he has a give tab on his Facebook account) and to help rally and communicate with his followers. conservative 15:32, 5 June 2011 (EDT)

Newt Gingrich and social media

I am not a big fan of Newt Gingrich, but he does say quite a few things I agree with. Newt Gingrich has over 1,300,000 Twitter followers.[3] Newt Gingrich's Facebook page has over 138,000 likes.[4] conservative 15:18, 5 June 2011 (EDT)

Both good points, Conservative. I think the important difference is between a public figure who maintains an account on these sites and a person who wastes a lot of time doing nothing worthwhile on those same sites. For Gingrich or DeMint, a facebook or twitter page is an important publicity tool, but I doubt either of them spends much time on them - as you say, they no doubt have a staff to help them with that kind of thing Jcw 15:31, 5 June 2011 (EDT)
One more example, I don't agree with Gerald Celente on everything and I thought he went out on a limb in 2010 regarding a financial collapse and underestimated the degree to which the Federal Reserve can and will jury-rig the financial system through the use of short term measures that harm the long term economic health of the U.S. But nonetheless, there are a lot of members of the right and left media who do have respect for the guy because he does have a great track record as far as trend forecasting. You can certainly disagree with Celente on various points, but it is hard to make the case that he is not a serious guy given his track record at trend forecasting. Celente has over 11,000 Twitter followers.[5] I do think that social media can be used to raise cash for politicians and gain publicity. conservative 16:02, 5 June 2011 (EDT)
One more thing, I don't know how successful Facebook is at raising cash for politicians, but in May of 2009, it appears Facebook was merely a way to augment fundraising for non-profits and inferior to other methods.[6] I am guessing things have not changed, but this is only a hunch. On the other hand, Obama has over 21,000,000 likes on his Facebook page plus he has a donate button. As much as I disagree with Obama's fiscal policies, senseless wars and social policies, I have to believe he is raising cash at Facebook. conservative 16:20, 5 June 2011 (EDT)

Scott Brown and social media

I have never been a big fan of the Republican politician Scott Brown in terms of all his policies which is not surprising as Massachusetts Republicans are more liberal.[7] Nevertheless, he was the lesser of two evils and I am glad he beat the Democrat. More to the point, he did manage to win an election and in January 0f 2010 it has reported he had over 140,000 Facebook supporters.[8] Given the younger generations growing influence as the baby boomers, Silent Generation and Greatest Generation age and pass on, I don't think politicians can ignore social networking websites. conservative 16:07, 5 June 2011 (EDT)

Reply to the above

Those are interesting observations about a few politicians. I don't think any of them, however, have embraced Facebook as their primary platform as much as Obama and Palin have. Also, note that the long-term effects of the above efforts are not contrary to what the entry suggests: DeMint has not run for president, Gingrich is running but is struggling to gain credibility, and Brown's popularity may have been short-term, just as the entry observes.--Andy Schlafly 19:49, 5 June 2011 (EDT)

Here is an interesting article: Obama's online fundraising machine I think it is reasonable to believe that the social media websites drove some of that money to Obama's coffers. I don't think Obama's Facebook outreach is going to be a cause of his political demise though and I don't think it has hurt him so far and it is rather the economy that has suppressed his favorability numbers. I also don't see Facebook hurting Jim DeMint. More importantly, for the last 30 years most American Presidents kept piling onto the Federal deficit. Obama is continuing that tradition and even more so than G.W. Bush. However, I think the effects of a growing US Federal deficit, the continuing deindustrialization of the US, the failed liberal education system and the rotting inner portions of many US cities is coming to a head and Obama is going to be left holding the bag in 2012 and not be re-elected due to a deteriorating economy. Furthermore, if there is a financial meltdown during Obama's term, I think he will be painted as another Herbert Hoover. conservative 02:59, 6 June 2011 (EDT)
As far as Sarah Palin, I think what hurts her is that she has to be willing to crack open the books and learn foreign policy issues and I agree with George Will that America is ideological conservative and operationally liberal in many cases and they don't want the domestic austerity tough medicine that Palin believes needs to be done. Also, I think financial realists like Rand Paul and Ron Paul supporters don't believe that Palin is going to cut the military budget. I also think many people are turned off because she did not finish her term as Alaska governor. conservative 03:18, 6 June 2011 (EDT)


[Facebook is] contributing to a large number of divorces: 80% in one report<ref></ref> and 20% in an earlier report.<ref></ref>

It may have taken only 8 sec to find these citations, but that's when the real work starts: it's not enough to just skim an article, you have to really read it, weigh its credibility and eventually check its source for yourself as journalists tend to be notoriously sloppy. This wasn't done for the above citations, and so they became a textbook example of what-can-go-wrong-with-citations.

the 20% figure

Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce-Online said: "I had heard from my staff that there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was I was really surprised to see 20 per cent of all the petitions containing references to Facebook.

That's where the 20% figure pops up. You are not the only to fall for it:

The confusion crested last week when Perry Drake, senior manager of media relations for Loyola University Health System in Chicago, put together a news release touting a Loyola psychologist's expertise on relationships and social media. Finding the 1-in-5 figure online, Mr. Drake led the news release with the headline: "Don't let your marriage be among the 1 in 5 destroyed by Facebook."

This is from an article in the Wallstreet Journal which checked the 1-in-5 number: The 1-in-5 number originated with an executive at an online divorce-service provider in the U.K. Mark Keenan, managing director of Divorce-Online, which allows Britons to file uncontested divorces at low cost, had just launched the company's Facebook page and wondered what role Facebook has in precipitating divorces. After determining that the word "Facebook" appeared in 989 of the company's 5,000 or so most recent divorce petitions, he had Divorce-Online issue a news release in December 2009 stating "Facebook is bad for your marriage." Mr. Keenan acknowledges that his company's clients aren't necessarily representative of all divorces, and he adds that his firm never claimed that Facebook actually causes 20% of divorces. "It was a very unscientific survey," Mr. Keenan says.

So, this number is bogus.

the 80% figure

Source: DNA India. Not a publication you find in the list of Essay:Best News Sources. The figure is so incredibly high that one should have doube-checked it in the first place, using a more trustworthy source. But you won't find one: Why? Well, reading not only the first sentence of the article, but also the second, we get:

Did you know the innocuous updates have been fodder for 80% of marriages crumbling across the globe? A survey released by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers last year, pointed out that 81 per cent of divorce lawyers had lifted off information like status messages, posts on a friend’s walls, photos, comments or even tweets from Facebook and Twitter in the previous five years as grounds for divorce.

Obviously an example of bad journalism! The alarmistic first sentence is not confirmed by the by the second one: Not 80% of all marriage are destroyed by social media, but 80% of all divorce layers used this media. It isn't said whether they do so in all their cases - or perhaps only occasionally. And, more important, they do so to lift information. If your lawyer bills you for looking up your wife's lover in the yellow pages, you don't state that phone-books destroyed our marriage.

So, reading these sentences should have been enough to discard the source - and to have a look where it got its news. That's not complicated: it took it from a press release of the AAML, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers:

An overwhelming 81% of the nation’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence during the past five years, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).

So, networking evidence is used in an increasing number of divorces. That's all. And that is no surprise. But again, it doesn't say that facebook even contributed to the divorces.

AugustO 09:03, 6 June 2011 (EDT)

I see pros and cons to social media. I do think that insufficient parental supervision is a big factor in many cases of it being abused when it comes to young people. conservative 11:48, 6 June 2011 (EDT)


As a user of both services, I find Twitter to be much less personal and not social networking like. A feed is a good description of activity at Twitter. It's like having a latest in the news page. URL links are predominately of news stories. While both Twitter and Facebook share some characteristics, such as ego trip to gain more followers, Twitter is not a place to hang out hours upon end; no games, no built-in picture exchange (must use 3rd party services for this), hardly any compilation of personal data, no advertising. I do take exception to this statement,

"facebook pages or twitter feeds, where the near-total absence of conservative voices allows the most absurd nonsense to be applauded by 'followers'."

I seek out and friend only conservatives. Absurd nonsense is frowned upon and you know you are in the wrong when followers leave you. I do feel much of the information presented is repetitive. If you are anti-Obama such as me and you friend like-minded individuals, a steady feed of negativity is present day after day. Does the good outweigh the bad? The jury is out.--Jpatt 21:08, 6 June 2011 (EDT)