In the age of social media, whether for good or bad, 140 characters can have a massive effect on a presidential bid. One misstep by the candidate can spread like wildfire. From Jeb Bush just asking for people to clap for him or the Bernie or Hillary memes, social media can be their biggest ally or their biggest enemy.
Hillary has had a rough time getting a handle on all of the social media for this campaign. She's extremely active on all platforms, even Snapchat, but her social engagement has backfired a few times. Like in August with her, "How does your student loan debt make you feel? Tell us in three emojis or less," tweet, which garnered some sarcastic emoji responses and comments that she was trying to be too "down with the millennials."
Twitter was the enemy again last week when #WhichHillary started trending worldwide. The premise of the hashtag was calling into question the inconsistencies on a multitude of issues in Clinton's career from first lady, to senator, to secretary of state, and now presidential hopeful. The hashtag was started after a video went viral of a private campaign fundraiser for Hillary where Black Lives Matter activist, Ashley Williams, was standing next to Clinton holding a sign that included the quote from a Clinton speech in 1994, "We have to bring them to heel," and #WhichHillary and Williams saying, "I am not a super predator," before she was escorted out of the event. The quote referred to the speech in which she called gang members "super-predators" when she was supporting her husband's crime bill during his presidency.
Clinton and Sanders have been battling to win the black vote in South Carolina and nationwide. This group could be the determining factor of who receives the democratic nomination or not.
#WhichHillary on Twitter showed the discrepancies in Hillary's stances on issues and concerns, receiving more than 450,000 tweets within 24 hours.
Hillary Clinton is attacked as being a calculated politician; one that doesn't go with her gut, but one that is swayed by what people want to hear at any given point. With her running for president, it has only become more prominent. She must appeal to voters of all kinds and minorities, LGBTQ, black, Latino, young women and white men, to gain the democratic nomination, so she is now tailoring her message and adjusting her stances to align with those voters and people have taken notice.
More controversy arose with #WhichHillary when the Twitter account responsible for its trending, @GuerrillaDems, was censored and locked down and the hashtag was removed from the trending list by Twitter and its CEO. It's disappointing to see the censorship of social media — when it is made by the people, for the people — for political reasons. But with Clinton's huge corporate ties and funding, it will only be an issue that we face more and more often with the expansion of social media and its use as a tool to advertise and sway us, as well as connect us with each other, celebrities, or politicians.