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Can Social Media Change Politics if Users are Holding Back?

According to recent results collected in Scoople, a social network app for news, consumers are very bullish on social media’s abillity to change “Politics as Usual” in the United States while at the same time admit to holding back their own political opinions online. 

Social media appears to be poised to enter the fray of politics, elections, and democratic movements. At a recent event at SXSW, former Vice President Al Gore declared the U.S. democracy “hacked” and called for entrepreneurs to fix it (Link to Scoople news summary). Scoople users seems extremely optimistic for this to take shape - 93% believe social media will play a major role to change US politics: 

A slightly smaller, but still sizable majority - 80% - claims to be comfortable to use social media to convince others to join their votes, which should bode well for startups like Votizen (Link to Scoople news summary): 

However, and interestingly so, a surprising 61% hold back offering up (at least some of) their political opinions on social media (Link to Scoople news summary):

There is clearly a lot of optimism for social media to change politics for the better. There is also some goodwill towards start-ups like Votizen or NationBuilder. But it remains to be seen if politics can really take hold on social media if so many users are reluctant to share their opinion or express themselves. Maybe political discourse will require a social network different from Facebook where like-minded, politically interested users can engage without the fear of alienating friends or co-workers with opposing political opinions. 

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