Every time the presidential election comes, most of us expect it to be highly manipulative. Perhaps, not every voter will notice hidden context in more or less standard political ads which contain unsophisticated and predictable slogans. Even if most conscious voters anticipate being misinformed and search for information on the candidates themselves, there is a large amount of people who do not care about the ads and perceive slogans automatically. And this is the point where manipulation starts.
Speaking about manipulation, it is performed on the various levels. In the first place, it occurs in a positive or negative statement of slogans. Ads evoking positive emotions certainly stimulate voters’ turnover and participation in the elections. Adds which cause fear associated with crime, terrorism, immigration, and healthcare, on the other hand, tend to be more persuasive. They drag voters attention and make them memorize figures which are frequently invented. Political ads reach people who are uninformed and continue to mislead them. These ads are too brief and lopsided so that the electorate “consume” processed facts. Besides, political ads are omniscient – they reach people before they get an access to radio, television or any reliable source of information.
Talking about young people, they are mostly reached by politicians within social networks. Yet in 2012, Facebook ran an experiment which proved that most users are interested in the elections. Besides, people were more likely to vote if their friends were voting. In 2016, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the major place for the political strategists to apply all their psychological tricks at the young electorate.