My question is what this general trend does for campaigning. It seems to me like more targeted campaigns certainly increase polarization, as people's opinions are reinforced because the marketers already know eerily well who they are targeting. As well, it makes people more issue sensitive, isolating them from the general electorate. The obvious response is that people don't decide elections based on advertisements, which certainly has some truth in it. Yet I suspect advertiser's have at least some ability to subtly influence the public (it is, after all, their job). If advertiser's can appeal to me, I will get set in my ways. I, for one, have two ads on my Facebook: one for Planned Parenthood and one for Demi Lovato's new album. It seems, unfortunately, that the internet age knows me a little too well for comfort.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Campaigning in the Age of Facebook
An interesting NYTimes article on nanotargeting goes a long way to demonstrating just how hyperspecific campaigning has become. Did you know, for example, that ESPN viewers lean slightly Democrat, while ESPN2 Viewers lean slightly Republican? Probably not, because that sounds ridiculous. But such is the world we live in. (And, if I can get in a partisan dig for a second, 6 of the top 10 Democrat-leaning shows are news programs, whereas none of the top 10 Republican-leaning shows are. Then again, "House of Payne" and "The View" also crack the Democratic top 10, so I'm probably full of...well, you know).