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Elections are not won on social media

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Elections are not won on social media

Friday 23 September, the last day of the campaign electoral, while the other leaders were speaking in some physical square, Matteo Salvini created a virtual square by uniting in a single direct TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter: Salvini marathon the title of the event, chosen because the digital meeting lasted even four hours. In the end, the organizers released “numbers never seen before”: 3 million interactions, of which over half only on TikTokwith over 220 thousand unique spectators.

An evident success, which however did not translate into votes for the League, yet another proof of the fact that the tweets do not end up in the ballot boxes, which followers are not all voters and that engagement does not measure consensus, but is rather a measure of the entertainment capacity of the social media audience: how much you have been able to make them entertain, or interest or often even anger.

If not, Carlo Calenda, who the other day used Twitter to make an appointment with a man who had insulted him to settle the matter in person, would have probably won the seat in Rome Center, instead of stopping at a paltry 11%. And Giuseppe Contewhich on social media seems to move better than others, would be in place of Giorgia Meloni, on the home straight to return to Palazzo Chigi. And the pale, at times non-existent electoral campaign of the Democratic Party on social media, where the leader Enrico Letta it is almost absent, it did not translate into a collapse of votes as the engagement data implied: those who wanted to vote PD did it anyway, the hard core did not allow itself to be influenced by the party’s digital modesty.

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This is to say, once again, that social media do not win elections, they are only a toolimportant, to talk to a part of the country, but it must be said that it is a small part, because in fact every time around the messages bubbles are created where the leader finds himself communicating with two categories of people who are actually useless for the purposes consensus: those who adore it (and who will always vote for it) and those who hate it, and who will never vote for it.

In short: elections are won and lost before and outside social networks, for the ability to interpret the spirit of the times, giving an answer to fear (the need to be protected) or to hope (the desire to change). Without hope, fear always wins. Social media do not change the meaning of the message but they are like the echo of a voice which comes from much further away.

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