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Pepperdine Journal of Communication Research

Abstract

Social media has revolutionized how citizens communicate and interact with each other. President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign notably demonstrated just how impactful online interconnectivity could be in reaching out to key demographics. More specifically, Twitter has become increasingly popular in achieving communication with constituents while enabling voters to become citizen journalists and active participants in the political process. This paper seeks to trace the evolution of Twitter as a political resource and determine what influence it has in enhancing and inhibiting political communication. By drawing on Kristeva’s concept of intertextuality, I argue that Twitter’s unique functionality contains the potential for spurring widespread political activism by encouraging voices from all echelons of society to be heard and how formats such as Obama’s “Twitter Town Hall” can be adapted to engage the citizenry.