How might the Internet, including blogs and YouTube, affect the outcome of an election?
In the 2008 presidential race, there have been groundbreaking efforts on the Web to raise the profiles of candidates through the use of the blogosphere, YouTube, MySpace and online action committees. At the forefront of this phenomenon is the presidential candidate Ron Paul, who along with his supporters, are rewriting the rules of political campaigns on the Internet and taking advantage of the fact that millions of Americans are using the Internet for news on the 2008 campaign. There are online political sites specifically designed to debunk rumors about the presidential candidates. While much depends on the extent of political discussion already tied to a particular candidate's name, before the news hits the Web, the Internet has become a powerful tool that works both for and against the candidates. Part of the problem is the ease with which people can make up information, spread rumors and even manipulate Google data about a particular candidate. But the Internet also serves a major role in educating people about the issues and providing up-to-the minute coverage on the polls and horse race.
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