Political parties are pouring resources into social media to prepare for the election. But how influential will platforms like Facebook and Twitter really be in swaying voters? The Institute for Race Relations (IRR) explored the question in a recent survey, learning that only a tiny proportion of the voting population are active on the platforms. According to the poll, conducted in August and September last year, only 9% of registered voters were on Twitter, which the institute called “negligible”, while 36% of people registered to vote had Facebook accounts. This year's general election is being touted as the most hotly contested since 1994, with opposition parties hoping to push the ANC below 50% in provinces such as Gauteng and the Northern Cape. The IRR poll showed that according to political affiliation, DA voters had the strongest presence on Twitter (16%) and Facebook (53%). The ANC was “significantly underrepresented” in relation to the DA and EFF. ANC voters only had a 2% r...

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