The climate of social media in Lebanon is as powerful as ever. This power is ever present not only in Lebanon but also in the United States. Political campaigns have noticed the dramatic growth in social media and taken advantage of it. Between 2005 and 2009 candidates have become aware of using social media as a tool to win votes for their respective campaigns. Both Facebook and blogs have become very popular in addition to other various social media sites, such as tumblr and Myspace. This leads to news of candidate’s campaigns spreading more rapidly than ever, not only that but people now have the ability to post news with their own take on the issue via commentary. The mainstream media is controlled by political parties and is very biased in Lebanon, and in the U.S. as well, thus people have begun to use social media to round out the political conversation with a subjective point of view.
Social media use in Lebanon is very similar to that of U.S. youth, as illustrated by this experiment.
Many people in both countries are emailed, and mailed campaign fliers announcing the campaign’s website and various television appearances. These act as outlets towards social media sites. In the U.S. not only is each candidate virtually required to have an active Twitter account but users of the mini-blog site are able to voice their opinions and thoughts on candidates and recent incidents which they were involved in that have made news, such as Romney’s recent comment (September 2012) concerning how “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them.” Through social media supporters of candidates and the candidates themselves are able to connect. However, they are not only connecting but candidates are put on the spot because more information is available about them, from “their thoughts, opinions, lifestyles, and even spelling errors.” Social media has expanded which in turn has led to broader connection in American and Lebanese blogsphere’s. People receive updates about events and campaign news much faster than in previous years and can act and respond on news much quicker as well, thus progressing a political dialogue at speeds never before seen.