The US election in 2012 was a very different experience for many people than in 2008, largely thanks to how social media has insinuated itself to our lives. Controversies grew like wild fire, new memes rose and fell, odd legal grey areas were discovered, and fresh focus was put on math and statistics. Here's a round up of some of the things that helped define the 2012 election season from a social media perspective.
- More than 250,00 tweets mention Big Bird during the first presidential debate.
- Facebook's real-time election vote tracker was an interesting interactive infographic giving some context to the election buzz on the popular social network.
- The leaked 47% video caused quite a stir and essentially defined a candidate for many.
- Binders Full of Women launched hilarious new memes and flooded the Twitterverse.
- Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair was... well, it was something. It went viral with #eastwooding and @InvisibleObama.
- The Hootsuite 2012 Election Tracker, while certainly skewed towards the tech-saavy social media demographic, did a fair job of predicting the outcome of the night.
- Many people, for fear of fines or even jail time, quickly removed photos of their voting activities posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It seems these fears came amid rumours and hearsay, but were certainly based in fact. Whether or not the laws will be enforced remains to be seen.
- And the pundits were schooled by Nate Silver, the statistical whiz-kid who correctly predicted the outcome in all 50 states, based on his complex mathematical models. Is this the end of punditry as we know it?