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Southern Tier

Was this the 'Twitter election?'

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Was this the 'Twitter election?'
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There's no denying that there's been a change in United States politics. But the change we're talking about is not because of a candidate or party. As YNN's Geoff Redick reports, it's a change you can be a part of.

UNITED STATES -- We do it on our computers and our phones. On Election Night, we did it over 31 million times.

And the man who runs it, predicted over a year ago.

"Yeah, so, gosh -- I really think 2012 is gonna be the Twitter election," said Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO.

But was Decision 2012 really "The Twitter Election?" We turned to RIT Professor and social media consultant, Mike Johansson, for the answer.

"Was it the Twitter Election?, but I would say it's possibly the first true social media election," said Johansson.

More than ever, we shared our politics on the Internet. Take this Tweet from President Barack Obama. Right after he was projected to win re-election, Obama Tweeted a picture of himself and his wife, Michelle. In just minutes, it became the most favorite Twitter posting of all time.

Reporter: "So it's really not just an information tool, but an emotional communication tool.")

"Sure, absolutely. And you see this a lot, 'in the moment.' Of course, famous in the first political debate, Mitt Romney made the mistake of saying something about Big Bird. Of course, that became a sort of topic of conversation and a hashtag pretty quickly," said Johansson.

But what about more local elections, like Chris Collins versus Kathy Hochul? We checked the numbers, and from September through Election Day, 63 percent of Collins’ tweets were attacks against Kathy Hochul. In all of Hochul's Tweets? Not one attack or even mention of Chris Collins. And Collins went on to win.

"You know, there is a theory out there that when people are sort of being 'the attack dog,' when they're being aggressive and confrontational, they tend to get more attention. I think that's true in a lot of media," said Johansson.

So would local elections benefit from more aggressive "Tweeting?"

"That's the challenge: understanding the two-way engagement process. Without it, the 'social' really disappears out of social media. And you are never gonna be successful if you don't have some social in there," said Johansson. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP