Twitter Politics

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Twitter Politics

Margaret Hoff, Staff Writer

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Quite a few political figures are active on social media, and with good reason. Social media makes it easy for people to share their ideas and views with their audience, making it a great platform for many influential people. People, such as Bernie Sanders, share their views in videos and posts on sites such as Instagram, prompting their viewers to think. But is there such a thing as too much of a media presence, and maybe too much information?

Not just recently, but all this last year, President Trump has been very active on his Twitter account. Some of his tweets are much more professional than others, but we’ll leave that for you to decide. It seems like every week there’s something pretty controversial that Trump tweets, and it goes viral.

So, I’ve decided to look at both views on this topic: Is Trump being too explicit, and sharing things that maybe should be kept in the Oval Office? Or, is Trump simply saying what needs be said, and sharing his ideas with his audience? For the answers to these questions, I went to a few politically active high school students.

First, I went to a more liberally minded student, Hannah Middleton. Her views on the topic were based on proper etiquette and basic manners. She said that “All politicians should be professional, both in person and on social media. Especially if you’re, say, the President of the United States and have such a large influence.” This is the opinion of the majority of people, as this is how most people think people in power should act.

When asked: Do you think certain people say things that shouldn’t be said? She answered by saying, “Yes. I think that if you are in the public eye, you shouldn’t “slam” people on Twitter.” However, she did agree that social media was a good platform for politicians to share their beliefs. She said, “Especially with the growing number of Gen Z and Millenials, everyone is on social media. So if politicians are to connect with a younger audience, then yes. They need to connect on their platforms.”

She also agreed with the question of whether or not politicians should have their posts censored, or filtered. “I think that everyone should have their posts filtered. If you want to avoid conflict, or being misinterpreted, then you need to proofread everything.”

And, finally, when asked if certain politician’s tweets are necessary, she said, “I think if you’re talking about a certain topic, like… Syria and you’re talking about your policies on that, then letting everyone know what you think and what your opinions are is necessary; especially if you’re a politician so you can find people who agree with you. But, I feel like there are certain things that you shouldn’t talk about, like personal things. Just like personal subjects that are better to keep to yourself.”

Next, I interviewed Tabi Stanec. Tabi is much more conservative centered, almost exactly the opposite of Middleton. This interview was crucial to show the other side of the story. Surprisingly, Stanec’s interview answers aligned with Middleton’s on almost all of the questions. When she was asked what she thought of politicians’ presence on social media she said, “I think it depends. Some things are good, and others are bad. Like with Trump, some things he says are good, but other times he just goes way too far.”

She instantly agreed with the question “Do you think that certain people say things that should not be said on social media?” She then went on to answer whether or not social media is a good platform to share beliefs. She answered by saying “Yeah, I think it is, to an extent.”

Next, I asked her whether or not she thinks posts should be censored or filtered, which she agreed with by saying “Yes, Definitely.”

Finally, I asked her if she thought certain people’s tweets were necessary. She answered almost just like Middleton by saying, “Well, if it’s like notifying people like this is happening, and you need to know, then it is. But, if it’s something like ‘my button is bigger,’ then I feel like that doesn’t need to be said.”

Just from these two interviews of people with almost completely opposite beliefs, you can see that most people have the same idea. No matter what side of politics you sit on, most people would agree that being professional is one of the most important things as someone in the public eye. As a politician, it is your job to keep your public image professional and clean and keep your name from gaining any dirt. This is why most people agree with the fact that some politicians take their posts too far, and beyond the realm of positive publicity. So what do you think? Do some politicians just go too far, or are they in the right by saying what they want to?

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