Many have said that social media has completely revolutionised politics – and there is plenty of evidence to support these claims, from Donald Trump’s controversial Twitter feed to politician campaign videos on YouTube, to the plethora of flags superimposed on people’s Facebook profile picture. But all of this begs the question, is social media an appropriate platform for a politician to use?
According to our research, 46% of Irish adults believe it is appropriate for politicians to use social media to communicate with their constituents and the wider world in general, compared to almost 3 in 10 feeling the opposite. This isn’t surprising, as social media is a notoriously polarising topic, despite its near ubiquitous nature. There may be a few reasons people feel social media is an inappropriate platform for politicians; many people are still resistant to using social media or generally dislike its use, while others still might just feel that more conventional forms of communication should be used in politics.
Among those who consider social media use by politicians as appropriate, Facebook was considered to be the most appropriate choice, with 7 in 10 saying it would be appropriate. Twitter was the next highest choice with 6 in 10 saying it was appropriate, its use perhaps normalised by the in/famous tweets of a certain U.S. President. Circa 3 in 10 felt YouTube and was an appropriate platform for politicians, possibly as a potential medium for uploading campaign ads.