Twitter adds new dynamic to presidential debates

5:01 PM, Oct 17, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - You didn't have to be near a television to catch Tuesday night's debate.

For Kate-Madonna Hindes, it was her birthday and she was out to dinner with friends.

"As we were sitting at the Melting Pot, I was looking at the debate on my phone and seeing what was going on," says Hindes.

Hindes is a Minneapolis-based social media strategist and a prime example of person who sees how Twitter and Facebook are changing the way people consume debates.

"It's almost like we've become so much more reactive as a society because we're watching it and now we're given a voice," says Hindes. "We're doing our own fact checking. We're Googling while we're watching the debates. We're showing what we find."

Take this line about women in the workplace from Mitt Romney, "I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."

In elections past, the comment may have gone unnoticed, but in the age of social media, "Binders Full of Women" has become a standout.

The phrase instantly began trending on Twitter and a Facebook page titled Binders Full of Women currently has more than 300,000 followers.

"Binders Full of Women" instantly became the "Big Bird" of the second debate.

"Twitter adds that little element of humor and you can hear what other people are saying," says Hindes. "It makes it more entertainment than just watching it on TV."

It also helps drive the campaign's messages. Wednesday, President Barack Obama pounced on the social media firestorm during a campaign rally.

"I've got to tell you, we don't have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented young women," said Obama, speaking to a crowd in Iowa.

Whether you think social media is trivializing politics or engaging new voices, there is no doubt it's having an impact.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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