Harsh media comments towards candidates?

By Emily Connah

Social media has proved to be a place for users to comment harshly on US Presidential candidates.

President Barack Obama and candidate Mitt Romney have received a variety of both positive and negative coverage, but it seems the unfavourable comments make up the majority.  In a variety of mainstream media, 19% of stories about Obama were favourable in tone, compared to the 30% of stories that were unfavourable.

With social media having less regulation than the mainstream media, it is inevitable that negativity in comments and opinions on sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become more visible.

Both candidates, Obama and Romney, have received negative coverage from news media but it was noticeable how social media comments were significantly harsher.  The tone of stories in the media, as a whole, presented an unfavourable tone towards both candidates. Until the first debate, it was apparent that Romney was being covered on social and mainstream media in a negative way with just 4% of stories being in a positive light.

Social media site Twitter has supposedly been harsher on Republican candidate Romney than Obama with social media users making accounts such as  “@Grr_Romney” which purposely target him and his particular policies.

This discussion on social media, poses numerous questions.

Do these harsh comments on social media sites influence the voting process? In particular, is the harsh coverage of Romney an advantage for Obama? Or vice versa.



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