Yesterday, Feb 25th 2012, Barack Obama’s Google+ page was inundated with comments from China in Chinese. There were literally thousands of them easily maxing out the 500 comment per post limit on one post after another. Apparently the Chinese firewall that restricts access to social media sites like facebook. Google + is normally restricted but for a brief period it was accessible and the Chinese took it as an opportunity to flood the most powerful man in the worlds profile. The comments were a mix of criticisms, jokes, praise and political requests.
It was a new event in the world of social media and another example of how the nature of politics, like commerce, is evolving digitally. If the Chinese firewall were to ever come down permanently the volume of comments and blog posts would not be a wave, not a flood but a tsunami of new content across western websites.
Staying on the subject of American politics, it has also been interesting to see a grass roots support network rapidly grow via social media for Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul. Initially considered a fringe candidate with ‘no chance’ of winning the Republican nomination, his supporter base has grown exponentially with YouTube and Social Media. Analysis revealed that while he received the least Television coverage, he was discussed, shared and viewed online more than any other candidate. Without social media it is unlikely Ron Paul would now be one of the remaining four possible Republican nominees (out of 9).
Here closer to home, social media has been abuzz with the Gillard V Rudd battle that will be decided tomorrow. It is interesting to see when you search for either current or former Prime Minister just how many ‘anti’ pages and groups there are for both politicians. It is clear that social media is the place for venting frustrations and making complaints. And of course jokes, a good joke spreads like wildfire through social media and is one of the best ways to get shared (especially in viral videos).