Social media and political scandals


From  Anthony Weiner’s sexting to now Chris Christie’s lane closures, social media plays an influential role in how we as a country respond to scandal.

In previous years, one would simply hear about scandals on the news — a few times if they were big stories—and forget about them. Now, with the rising use of Twitter, Facebook and other blogging sites, Americans are able to replay, analyze and discuss issues over and over again.

The Internet creates an atmosphere where nothing can be hidden and everything is displayed and public. Anthony Weiner, for example, became an Internet sensation (and joke) when the Congressman was caught sending explicit photos to women. The Internet made it impossible for people not to hear about the scandal and provided a place for people to ridicule and discuss the issue as much as they pleased.

Chris Christie’s role in the closure of three lanes on George Washington Bridge in New Jersey is a trending topic on many Internet sites; from talking about the 91-year-old woman who died during the lane closure, to disclosing the e-mail Christie’s assistant sent out incriminating their involvement. In my opinion, the use of social media will make it impossible for him to recover from a scandal like this because it causes the story to be so widespread and widely discussed.

Social media makes it possible for Americans to give attention to any issues they like, and its influence is clearly a force to be reckoned with.