Will 2024 Be The Meme Election?

New data about political news consumption, 'neurotargeting'

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Campaigns

The politics of memes: How Biden and Trump are fighting each other on the internet
AP News
"With tens of millions of people using social media as a primary information source, the battle of memes could affect who wins in November. Many Americans say they’re not excited about a Biden-Trump rematch and growing digital habits make it harder to reach people through traditional spaces for political advertising like print publications or television."

The meme debate: Trump and Biden enter viral battlefield
Axios
"Debates have always been about soundbites, but changing consumption habits mean fewer voters will see this debate in its totality than see snippets — spliced to maximize shares, and to reinforce existing narratives about the contenders."

Taking the win in Texas by 400 votes
Numinar
"The Gonzales team made Numinar a fully integrated part of the campaign’s technology infrastructure and field strategy, conducting nearly 435,000 phone calls and knocking 121,000 doors."

Content

Mapping How People Get Their (Political) News
University of Pennsylvania
"The team found that TV news, rather than online news, is the main driver of partisan news content, that television news consumers are several times more likely to maintain their partisan news diets month-over-month than online news consumers, and that fake news comprises only 0.15% of Americans’ daily media diet."

  • Mapping the (Political) Information Ecosystem (UPenn.edu)

Data

How Data-Fueled Neurotargeting Could Kill Democracy
MIT Press Reader
"Neurotargeting, in its simplest form, is the strategic use of large datasets to craft and deliver a message intended to sideline the recipient’s focus on logos and ethos and appeal directly to the pathos at their emotional core."

International

AI candidate running for Parliament in the U.K. says AI can humanize politics
NBC News
"People can ask AI Steve questions or share their opinions on Endacott's policies on its website, during which a large language model will give answers in voice and text based on a database of information about his party’s policies."

Ex-ScoMo strategist says deepfakes SHOULD be used by parties
The Nightly
“He said random kids in basements were already creating non-party AI-generated content, pointing to an example posted on TikTok showing a faked Rishi Sunak and mocking his recent pledge to reintroduce a form of conscription for 18-year-olds, as well as a deepfake pretending the Tories were embarking on a zero-seats campaign.

“‘So if the kids in the basement can do it, why can’t the major parties use it and leverage it in their favour?,’ he said.”

Social Media

How much of the drop in traffic to right-wing sites is Facebook’s fault?
Washington Post
"The smallest sites in its analysis now saw Facebook referral traffic at only 2 percent of the level seen in March 2018."

Technology

AI experimentation is high risk, high reward for low-profile political campaigns
AP News
"More than a third of states have passed laws regulating artificial intelligence in politics, and legislation aimed specifically at fighting election-related deepfakes has received bipartisan support in each state where it has passed, according to the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen."

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