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How social platforms influenced the 2016 election

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From Facebook to alt-right Reddit, social media communities played a large role in gathering young voters for the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton spoke of her supporters in "secret Facebook groups" while Mark Zuckerberg, post-election, dismissed the notion that Facebook had any influence over Tuesday's outcome. But social platforms absolutely affected the election results: here's a look at how.

  • Oct 27, 2016

    Colin Lecher

    Trump campaign using targeted Facebook posts to discourage black Americans from voting

    While the Trump campaign continues to flounder weeks before Election Day, a new report is providing some inside information on the candidate's strategy, including an unorthodox use of Facebook.

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  • Nick Statt

    Oct 24, 2016

    Nick Statt

    The Trump campaign just launched a nightly talk show on Facebook Live

    Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In St. Augustine, Florida
    Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

    Donald Trump’s campaign just began broadcasting the first installment of what it’s calling a nightly campaign coverage show exclusively on Facebook Live. The show, which will be broadcast on Trump’s Facebook page at 6:30PM ET from today until Election Day, is hosted by campaign advisors Boris Epshteyn and Cliff Sims, as well as The Blaze commentator Tomi Lahren. For the first episode, the trio is interviewing campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and adviser Jason Miller, according to Wired.

    It's important to note that, while the production has all the hallmarks of a television news broadcast with hosts wearing formal attire and onscreen graphics similar to Fox News chyrons, it's not claiming to be journalism. Instead, it's selective coverage with a pro-Trump, anti-Hillary Clinton bent, more akin to cable news commentary and punditry than an unbiased news source.

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  • Jordan Golson

    Oct 8, 2016

    Jordan Golson

    Republican Senator uses Facebook Live to ask Trump to step down

    #JusticeReformNOW: Celebrities For Justice & Voices Of Impacted People
    Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

    In a stunning late night Facebook Live video, Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee pleaded with Donald Trump to step aside and give up his nomination for president. The video, which Lee filmed from his home in Utah, is like many on Facebook Live — a single person, speaking to the camera, spreading a message. Trump used a similar tactic, though not as a live stream, when he apologized for comments he made about women that were published earlier on Friday.

    But it is exceptional in that Lee, a 45-year-old senator who took office in the Tea Party-surge of 2010, didn’t go to Fox News or CNN or MSNBC to spread his message. He went to an internet streaming service that didn’t exist a year ago. Of course, Lee’s plea to Trump wasn’t really aimed at the New York businessman, but instead at his constituents and fellow Republican politicians. It’s a signal that it’s okay for Republicans to run from the party nominee in a manner unprecedented in recent American politics.

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  • Casey Newton

    Aug 26, 2016

    Casey Newton

    Facebook says it will stop writing descriptions for Trending Topics

    Facebook's News Feed team has been reeling since a report earlier this year argued that a team of contractors responsible for the feed's Trending Topics module routinely suppressed news of interest to political conservatives. Facebook denied the report, which was published by Gizmodo and was sourced to former contractors on the team. But the company has spent several months doing damage control, rattled by the possibility that conservative users would abandon the site over claims of bias. Today Facebook took a step to reduce the influence humans have over the module by ending its practice of writing editorial descriptions for topics, replacing them with snippets of text pulled from news stories.

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