The 2012 French Presidential Campaign

First Steps into the Political Twittersphere

Authored by: Françoise Papa , Jean-Marc Francony

The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138860766
eBook ISBN: 9781315716299
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506560


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The French 2012 presidential election was marked by the emergence of Twitter as a tool which appeared, in the eyes of commentators, to be the main innovation of the campaign. Twitter was especially promoted by the candidates’ teams and the media, who made ‘real time’ a new imperative in the media coverage of the campaign. The first result of this trend was a sharp increase in the publishing activity on Twitter, growing as election day and its uncertain result approached. Activists and, more broadly, the supporters of candidates invaded the space of debate on Twitter. This activism, which took various forms, reflected the vitality of social networks and their now inevitable role in public debate. The more traditional spaces of online information and political debate, such as websites and blogs, were overshadowed by Twitter, a reactive medium allowing for instantaneous communication which proved complementary to traditional mass media, and particularly to television.

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