Politicians are hoping that social networks, such as Twitter, could have a positive influence on the outcome of the forthcoming General Election in the UK. However, according to Internet Psychologist Graham Jones the impact is more likely to be negative.
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live last night (1hr 6 mins into the recording) Graham Jones, web psychologist, said that it is the negative messages on Twitter or Facebook which are going to have more impact than any of the positive work being done by the political parties.
He said: “Politicians haven’t realised it is the negative stuff that is going to impact upon them. It is the negative things that are going to come back and bite them, not the positive things they are trying to do.”
According to Graham Jones the public could take mobile phone images of politicians in embarrassing situations or videos of them saying things which don’t make them look good. Then those images and videos can be uploaded onto the web for thousands, if not millions of people to see.
Furthermore said Graham Jones, a recent survey has shown that journalists are increasingly turning to Twitter as a source of information for stories. This suggests that they could pounce upon those negative postings and then publicise them even more widely in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio.
Graham Jones said: “The election is going to be lost on the Internet, not won on the Internet. The negative things are going to have much more impact than any of the positive things the politicians are trying to do.”