Is Twitter Good for Democracy? (BBC News Magazine)


Assistant Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan signed off of his Twitter account during the October 3 presidential debate, he told BBC News Magazine. “I think it is too easy to be influenced by other people’s reactions, especially for something as subjective as a presidential debate,” he says.

“The political science take on debates is that they don’t move the polls very much, but to the extent that they do debates matter, the mechanism to move the polls is coverage after the fact,” he says.

Nyhan discusses how social media outlets are influencing the post-debate narratives. “What I saw was a largely wonky and drama-free debate between two relatively skilled politicians, and I think the nuance of that is being stripped out by the post-debate narrative,” he says.

Read the full story, published 10/4/12 by the BBC News Magazine.

Nyhan’s reactions to the October 3 presidential debate are also noted in a New York Times blog and in the Columbia Journalism Review.

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