Facebook and politics

Monday, October 3, 2011 - 10:25am

Politicians are a huge presence on Facebook, and for good reason.

With 800 million users, it's the world's largest social networking sit, a large voting base ripe for the picking.

And because of this Facebook is flexing its political muscle by forming a political action committee and strengthening ties with those on Capitol Hill.

But ask Facebook user Renee Blanchard and she's not sure if she wants to see Facebook enter the political arena.

"I think it's more it should stay for its purpose, more for social networking and I don't mind the aspect of business being on there and connecting with customers, but I don't think it should take a political stand or have a political affiliation," said Blanchard.

The social networking giant has expanded its offices in Washington.

That doesn't surprise political analyst Larry Gerston.

"Stands to reason that they would form a PAC to try and distribute money to the folks who they believe will help them down the road," said Gerston.

Facebook has already played host to President Barack Obama and republican leaders like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

We've also seen the powerful role it played earlier this year in Tunisia and Egypt as the message of civil resistance was spread to the masses.

Author Andy Smith hopes Facebook continues to affect social change as well as political.

(SOT Andy Smith, Author)
"Things that they advocate for will be more broadly for the use of you and me and our ability to express ourselves in addition to the interests that they have in terms of selling advertising and making sure the politicians have the right angle they want to reach their constituents," said Smith.

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