Home Politics The Influencers with as Much Presidential Access as the Press

The Influencers with as Much Presidential Access as the Press

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The Influencers with as Much Presidential Access as the Press

“The right has long had its own ecosystem, even before the internet,” Katie Harbath, former director of public policy at Facebook, told me on Wednesday. “The left keeps trying to think about what that looks like for them, especially with all the questions surrounding the president’s age. They’re trying to find the right way to do it.”

Yet using creators as a platform for online political communication entails risks. Last month I rushed to Google after seeing several creators, at least one who had been briefed by the White House the week before, and a nonprofit that voted for Gen Z, publishing “breaking” news that Biden had negotiated a ceasefire the fire and that hostages would be released. the Israel-Hamas conflict. But nothing was reported The New York Times or the Associated Press. In fact, it seemed to be a misreading of a story in the Jerusalem Postand it went viral before the creators deleted their tweets.

And while there are many impartial newsmakers on TikTok and Instagram there are many who do so less. Creators like Posobiec rarely, if ever, criticize Trump and often exhibit a form of fannish behavior when posting about their favorite politician. Part of the appeal of bringing friendly creators into political circles is the confidence that they won’t say anything too critical.

“Fans are by definition not neutral people,” Stacey Lantagne, a law professor who studies fandom, told me on Wednesday. “You won’t be critical of the thing you’re punching.”

These political influencers aren’t going anywhere, especially with the way social media news consumption trends are evolving. Instagram and TikTok have become the main ways many people consume the news. A Pew Research Center survey from November found that half of American adults engage with news content on social media.

While Facebook remains the most popular source for social media news, TikTok’s news audience is growing the fastest across all age categories. About a third of younger American voters between the ages of 18 and 29 say they regularly get their news via TikTok. And these social media platforms themselves have that too complicated relationships with political or news-like content.

“I think this is the future, but the tension will increase,” says Harbath. “What differentiates an influencer from a journalist, and what access can they get?”

Whether it’s mostly journalists or content creators breaking the news this election cycle, I just hope it all makes sense.

The chat room

Truth Social went public last month, and some Trump fans are trying to replicate the meme stock moment GameStop had a few years ago. But as my colleague William Turton reported this week, the circumstances surrounding Truth Social’s valuation are completely different than those of GameStop: Institutional investors had shorted GameStop, while Truth Social shares are mainly owned by retail investors. Not to mention, the fundamentals of the company are different.

Do you know someone investing in Truth Social? Or perhaps another share for whatever political purposes? I want to hear about it. Leave a comment on the site or email me at mail@wired.com.

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