Political Facebook Posts: A Whole New Debate

by Johanna Seidel

When you sign into your Facebook account and scroll down your newsfeed, you are accustomed to seeing posts about miserable days, the weather, homework overloads, or overplayed song lyrics. As if those posts are not annoying enough, this election season has brought on a whole new storm of political posts. These posts are getting more hostile as the debates continue, and they often generate a long battle of aggressive comments.

Social media has become increasingly more important for political campaigns to reach a more tech savvy generation of voters. But being bombarded with your friends’ political opinions can have counteracting effects. In a recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, it was found that nearly 20% of Facebook users surveyed have defriended, blocked, or hidden others due to their political postings. To many, this statistic is evidence that people have had enough of the politics on Facebook. It was also reported that 16% percent of participants have changed their minds on a political issue due to a friend’s Facebook post.

The Mount Messenger set out to find what our students thought of political Facebook posts; the results were very clear. 76% of voters thought that political Facebook posts were obnoxious and filled up their newsfeed, or that they simply should be kept off Facebook. 16% of voters said that it is important to publically support your candidate of choice. 8% said that without them, they would have no idea what was going on with the upcoming election.

If you are dreading the next few weeks of political mayhem, consider installing a filter on your Facebook. There are several new clever applications emerging in which you choose words like Romney, Obama, Democrat, or Republican and have all posts containing such words blocked from your newsfeed.

You have the right to your one vote regardless of others’ political perspectives. So, if you would like to escape the drama, stay offline or consider installing a filter. If you would like to indulge in the mayhem, then indulge. When it comes down to it, you are the only one with the power to fill out your ballot, regardless of criticizing or harsh Facebook posts.