Is Twitter a Tool for Democracy or Distraction?

October 24, 2012

Acclaimed political media analysts Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Marty Kaplan share opposing perspectives on the role social media played during the 2012 presidential debates, and continues to play in political discourse. Are political tweets ultimately a tool of distraction or of democracy?

See the video clip above, review tweeted reactions to all four debates, and watch Bill’s full interview with Jamieson and Kaplan.

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  • nineinchbride

    Bill, I don’t know why you are wasting your time with this discussion, when there are so many more important matters at hand. First, no matter the arguments about twitter distraction, those who do so will continue to do so. No matter the benefits claimed, those who do not twitter etc. during debates will not likely start on account of them.

    I would argue that the content of the debates is framed so poorly, the content in them so disgracefully skewed, the lies and half-truths the candidates promulgate so dangerously misleading, and the premise of one party two flavor elections so contrary to democracy, that watching these “debates” is itself distracting from the real problems we are facing in America, problems which the candidates themselves ignore.

    One cannot properly speak of being distracted from what has the content value of a game show, while at the same time twitter and such may well serve to awaken viewers to the delusion that corporate politics in America offers any real choice.

    “Long ago gone, an itch alone remains. Democracy in America is a phantom limb.” From the novel, Nine Inch Bride.