In the United States social media tools have impacted presidential campaigns since the Presidential Election in 2000. Philip Howard points out on his book New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen that after the election in 2000, exit polls showed that “a third of the electorate had used the internet to learn about the campaigns. After the 2004 election, surveys revealed that over half the electorate had gone online to get news or information about the campaigns.” According to Howard, Tim Vickey from George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign, stated that he saw this type of work as “improving the quality of democratic deliberation” (pp 45). It is also argued that communication technology could be used to promote democratic value by making information available to the public, which can be done easily through the different social media tools available now. In addition in the book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, the author, Joe Trippi takes the reader throughout the changes that social media tools had made in political campaigns in the United States. Trippi states that what Barack Obama and his campaign achieved in 2008 “qualifies as yet another quantum leap in campaigning, in the use of the Internet, and in our democratic history.” Social media tools have brought to the United States a sense of true democracy in which the people have a voice. Now it’s not a one way communication as it was before, today is a two way communication where people can talk, share, organize, and mobilize politically.
In other democratic countries, social media tools have started to make an impact as well. Chile in South America and Egypt in the Middle East (part of the African Continent) are using some of these tools as part of their democratic right. However, due to political and cultural history, these tools are not being used with the same purpose as in the United States.