Importance of Twitter during the Presidential Debate

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HARRISONBURG, Va -- It's the first time social media, like Twitter and Facebook, will have a major effect on the presidential debate. JMU Communications Professor Brian Kaylor said Thursday night's tweets on the debate may have a big influence on the election.

Kaylor said Twitter was not as big during the 2008 election, but this year, all the candidates are on the social website. He said Twitter is a great forum for democracy since everyone can post their opinions about the debate.

He also said Twitter can have a negative effect, since it can change a person's mind about the candidates for the wrong reasons.

"We might be watching the debate and then reading what people are saying and realize, 'Oh that was a good argument,' or perhaps people start saying 'That candidate didn't know what they were talking about. This isn't true,' so it could in real time shift the way we think about the candidates," said Kaylor.

Kaylor said you should watch the debate yourself and come up with your own opinions about the candidates. He said you should not vote based on what people post about the debate.

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