recommended reading

Can Twitter Chatter Get Obamacare Defunded?

Nata-Lia/Shutterstock.com

Buried deep in Twitter's archives, the first users of "Obamacare" symbolize a fundamental divide in the Twitter universe: @WSJopinion, the Wall Street Journal's opinion team, and @victoria_29, a lover of NASCAR from "God's Country-Texas."

Do the @victoria_29s of the world have the power to affect national policies on topics like health care via Twitter? If the "Obamacare" case is an indicator of broader trends, the answer is no, probably not. In particular, this summer's campaign to "defund Obamacare" proves that even grassroots political movements on Twitter might be AstroTurf: Fake public outrage manufactured by traditional players in Washington like special-interest groups, think-tanks, and a handful of elected officials.

Efforts to gut funding for the Affordable Care Act are underway on Capitol Hill and computer screens across the country. Conservative groups like Heritage Action, Tea Party Patriots, and ForAmerica are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads and multi-state advocacy tours. At the same time, the Twitterverse has seen a gradual swell of conversation about health care -- 1.93 million tweets over the past two months. This summer has seen more tweets than the summer when the Supreme Court ruled on the health-care legislation (1.6 million tweets), the spring when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut"(338,000 tweets), or the winter when the Obama Administration struggled to compromise with religious communities on the birth-control mandate (562,000 tweets).

So why now? Why is the Twitterverse fixated on a political issue that seems to be in its twilight?

Read the full story at TheAtlantic.com.

(Image via Nata-Lia/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.