Twitter, Facebook's Election Watershed Moment

Social media has led to a paradigm shift in how Americans get their news and impacting the way political candidates communicate with voters.  Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg weighed in on why the use of social media in the 2016 presidential race is transforming how future presidential campaigns will be conducted and covered by the media.

“I think that this will be a watershed moment in American elections because A, the candidates communicated directly.  Donald Trump’s entire rise within the party was due to a Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account, no party infrastructure, no fundraising, almost no television commercials and the American public was able to get this on every possible device on every possible platform,” Steinberg told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.

On the other hand, according to Steinberg, the candidates’ use of social media to communicate directly with voters does have its drawbacks.

“And at the same time, there was less truth and more confusion and no ability for anyone to actually know what was going on than in any election in history too.”

Steinberg explained that voters are increasingly looking to social media to fact check what candidates say, whether during a debate or along the campaign trail.

“I think that a lot of people tried to do a fair amount of fact checking.  I think that when Kaine said that they supported Putin, right, and then they denied the support of Putin, that was a big moment, as well.  And then obviously they got Kaine on saying that Israel supported the Iran deal which of course Israel did not, so I think there was a lot of fact checking that I think went on on Twitter last night.”