Social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube play a significant role in the political arena nowadays. They are growing engagement tools that assist in improving the political process by helping electoral candidates in communicating their political programs and thoughts to the community, as well as in rallying their campaign supporters. On the other hand, voters can also use social media sites to unconditionally communicate with the candidates. This paper shows the importance of online social networking in modern society by reviewing the literature on social networks usage in politics, and showing how this usage has grown dramatically in different aspects of political life during the past few years. The growth in the use of social network sites was clearly seen after Obama’s 2008 US presidential election win, which uncovered the significance of social media in political campaigns and presented new ideas about the utilization of different web 2.0 technologies in politics. Clarifying the relationship between social networking and political life will also assist researchers to study the political behaviors of society and the motivations behind political participation.
Key words: Political elections, social network systems, political campaigns, politics, web 2.0 technologies, social networking and politics.
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