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Friday, July 13, 2012 0 Comments:

Social media summary about Mexico 2012 elections: Digital Failure

2012 elections are over in Mexico with a result that does not suit everyone and many teachings and evident needs must be found to attack and improve our country. These needs and deficiencies were not alone in the electoral arena but also in the digital world where social networking and social media played an interesting role, a strong role but was disappointing on several levels. Let's explore the findings of this period in our political history digital.

Social Media enters politics

The expectation of the use of social networking and digital media throughout this campaign season, and perhaps for a year, was high. Obama's campaign in 2008 and its role in his election as U.S. president promises and enthusiasm caused many who live in this digital world wanted to see daily.

Mexican politicians were slowly moving into the digital world, facebook pages, twitter accounts, advertising on youtube, google and so on. digital equipment and set up more or less the same effect to look Obama in his campaigns.

They started the successes and mistakes by both the mishandling personal account even of the same President Calderón in its infancy but it promised that it would become a good forum for debate and proposals.

We are not USA nor is 2008

Obama's digital policy was strongest in generating proposal and approach spaces with niches and tribal youth with a focus on digital reporting, create proposals and attract these groups to vote who had never been taken into account in addition to using the ant collection and digital events to create an excellent source of funding in the 2008 campaign in the United States. However, in 2008 the networks were different, with less participation of the general population and a rising Twitter and barely glimpsed its power as well as having such a limited population of users but with high levels of criticism, analysis and modus operandi based on dialogue and debate.

This allowed a glimpse of great potential use of networks for information, dialogue, rapprochement with niches and communities needs and tastes very well defined to attract the "long tail" of the population for the new campaigns.

Unfortunately once they started campaigns to force discovered that our politicians, and perhaps the same company, were not ready and did not really understand social networks and the evolution that had taken 4 years both in style, size, strength and ease of dialogue.

Insufficient and misdirected use in the campaigns of candidates: The electoral Journal

Began to emerge misuse of networks and digital resources in campaigns. As is pointed out my friend and researcher at the Universidad Iberoamericana Luis Martinez, bots took shape. And the main use during the campaigns of social networks was to be a megaphone and chismógrafo attack more than a table of dialogue, proposals and approaches.

These bots and insistence key candidates and their teams just play "War of the hashtags" was crucial to call this election a digital failure.

You may be angry with me members of the digital equipment of the candidates for whom I have the pleasure to know and greatly respect his work, but it would be hypocritical of me to not only applaud their efforts to point out that were not enough and that were well below expectations. There were few times when we saw that real efforts to try to promote information and approach of the proposed candidates, just a Manifesto Peña Nieto or a couple of videos on youtube @ Lopezobrador_ talking about his proposal serve as examples.

The main use we saw positive networks and technologies for the candidates was one that you brought from before 2000: coordination and communication equipment and followers across networks and platforms as PRIbook internal use as well as videos and blogs create this coordination. Platforms were also used to try to inform their followers of fraud, malpractice, rallies, and so on.

Another good use of the networks was done was the monitoring and analysis of conversations in general looking to find influential and dangerous and difficult issues for the campaign. An activity not easy considering the daily volumes of mentions of the teams they faced and having to distill from all this is important as intelligence and data used for the strategy.

However, the flavor is usually only used that network to yell at the people the candidates wanted to think of them, to attack or drown hashtags and conversations of others (not because they were more useful or purposeful, but simply because he wanted "air time" on the networks), to the extent it was by this that he became famous video of the coordination of PRI members to twitter hashtags and make war in the first debate.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube became mere chismógrafos campaign where they pushed us and made us swallow empty activities of the candidates or circulated attacks, taunting and teasing each other but with little proposition, information and focus on genuine dialogue .

The number of accounts that were candidates on Twitter is risoria and answered fans empty or only to those who supported them ever really questioning or requesting information. If he attacks, questions or complaints organized attack teams went into action. Compare this to an account like Obama with a rate of follower / friend too high makes it clear that we did not take advantage as would the Twitter platform or any other.

Impacts on society emerged and supported by the digital

As always, the Society had to be used in which a more or less positive networks. In the question and demand the highest proposal and dialogue that plagued the networks during debates and at all times without much reaction from each party concerned.

Citizenship but also fell in the game chismógrafo and inventor of falsehoods and attacks on each candidate, he found a strength thanks to a movement offline during the visit of Enrique Peña Nieto at the Universidad Iberoamericana, giving rise to the now famous # masde131 and # yosoy132. Where using social networks to call, organization and create dialogue with high impact movements in field campaigns in both digital and real life through the use of YouTube to broadcast in real time what happened during the visit and twitter, facebook and sites Internet to initiate coordination of a movement that transpired during campaigns.

Beyond the evolution that took the movement and if the end was manipulated or not, biased, etc. or not, it is clear that showed the strength and potential of networks to cause real information and dissemination of ideas, as well as serving as table both aggressive and peaceful discussion among citizens themselves and have a potential "translator" or "transporter" of ideas from the virtual to the real easily with high impact.

Surely this must have been having sought the candidates in a more purposeful, inclined to the talks and to organize and indecisive approach to citizenship in general and not only their own fervent fans.

Features and improvements that must have the vision of networks in social and political life of the country

This only shows that we have much to advance the digital path, but the possibilities and the impact is powerful is out there and can not be ignored by anyone.

I respect the members of the digital equipment that I had the fortune to meet this year. They are very talented, passionate, knowledgeable stuck were there promoting the actions of the parties and direct, more or less successfully, the look of the candidates and their coordinators to digital spaces, and I have faith that the experience gained by them in these months most conducive to progress in future political moments, not only in elections but everyday. I hope that will not stay with the idea that what was done and achieved, and if that meant victory for their candidate or not, is all it has to say. It will take humility to accept that it was nowhere near the full potential of networks in this approach to the strong improvement to benefit the country in future times.

Should focus on issues such as:

  •     Crowdsourcing of ideas, needs and demands of the population to create concrete actions and solutions
  •     Generating dialogue with communities to target intelligence and information usable to benefit the country
  •     Making the most of the channels not only for surface diffusion of ideas but to the proposition, dissemination, analysis and serious discussion of proposals, ideas and projects with those affected
  •     Be aware of the imperative need for transparency and honesty as monitoring and city chronicle and later broadcast using networks will only grow and be more effective and powerful against them
  •     More ethics in the proper use of nets, abandoning the practice bots, farm accounts and even on some level the organization of teams to advance to "shouting" some substantial ideas and messages
  •     The understanding that the Trending Topic on Twitter is just a little so valuable given the real purpose of the information network that is, measuring popularity and novelty and not to be used for other purposes less biased
  •     To encourage new ideas in the minds of politicians about transparency, honesty, authenticity and direct connection to networks involving people that transcends a single channel marketing to become a true engine of human interaction in every way

Mexican policy fell short in these critical elections, and no doubt is a very general consensus in the industry. We look at how the U.S. elections were adapted to the evolution that have been in use since 2008 both approaches, mentality, people and technologies, but hopefully not look only continue copying the wrong way these practices, but evolves from before them, then wait for no man.

The equipment and talented people are there, and must turn failure into success in digital short time since the 2012-2018 presidency will surely be very guarded and very susceptible to digital tribes and their actions. We may be only 40 million Internet users in Mexico today, 34 of them on Facebook, about 5 to 7 million in Twitter and not all adults and voters, but we grow, we are evolving and it is imperative that policy evolves much faster and to better suit than it did on this occasion to promote greater development of the country and industry.

All opinions are welcome ;)

Lets get a glimpse of what corruption is all about shall we.


I. Notion

Electoral corruption is understood by any act or procedure that goes against the legitimate and free exercise of the right of suffrage, which usually results in an alteration and adulteration of the genuine will of the voters and a distortion of election results.

The word derives from the Latin corruptus corruption, which means decay, rot or decay. Modern and in a very general sense, corruption can be defined as the unlawful use of state power, established to meet the public interest or common good, for the purpose of profit or personal gain or advantage or disadvantage to others. It is thus of public or political corruption, of which both state agents and private individuals. Electoral corruption is a kind of before and sister of another species widespread and mighty object of study: administrative or bureaucratic corruption.

Electoral corruption works against the purity of suffrage, a concept that summarizes all the virtues of democratic vote, which rests on two fundamental values: freedom of the elector and the truthfulness or accuracy of the count. When you want to be violent or manipulate the voter's freedom in expressing their political preferences, or tamper with the counting of the votes validly cast at the polls, the elections are denatured, deviate from its straight aim to be reduced to a farce , an assembly, by simply just save some external forms, at best provide a precarious meet the government legitimacy emanates from them.

Electoral corruption in a democratic representative is always a serious disease that affects the political system in one of its most sensitive institutions: the institution of suffrage. There are numerous electoral damage that corruption can cause the system: among others, frustrates the will of the majority of voters, harms the legitimate rights of a candidate and a political party, corrode habits underlying the political honesty, mistrust and apathy towards democratic institutions and by a complex conjugation of these and other factors, can easily trigger the dynamics leading to a crisis of legitimacy of the political system.

Electoral corruption should not be confused with electoral offenses. Corruption is discerned not by reference to criminal law (as in the case of crimes), but by reference to values ​​about what the community believes is right in the race, values ​​social recognition which makes them be a code of political ethics. While any misdemeanor or felony violation of electoral law, electoral corruption is the transgression of a more extensive set of rules that the law, certainly implicit in the legal ruling, but they are also registered in the doctrines of every ideology policy and a collective sense of morality.

Electoral corruption refers to behaviors that violate principles and values ​​developed in the field of political culture, which is why the notion of electoral corruption is more directly related to education and the political environment of each society, with their habits and customs, that positive law. It is the collective consciousness about political correctness and the normal functioning of democracy that punishes certain behavior as corrupt, not the law or the judge.

In principle, it would seem that the concept of electoral corruption belongs to the sphere of public morality or collective, which is why only faults are the subject of moral sanctions. Instead, it is clear that the electoral offense belongs entirely to the realm of criminal law, because it is contrary conduct constituting a criminal law, which is actionable as such and, if demonstrated responsibility, triggering the application of a penalty . However, the boundaries between these two notions, electoral corruption and electoral crime, not always sufficiently clear. The non-criminalization of certain corrupt practices could be due to social tolerance or irregularities relating to practices that are considered somewhat benign and inevitable and therefore tolerable. The truth is that not all features of electoral corruption are criminal in the criminal statutes. Criminal law only addresses some corrupt behavior, those that cause more social harm.

In reality there is little that criminal law can do to curb electoral corruption. Corruption goes far beyond its provisions, and this will multiply in criminal types and emphasize the severity of penalties. The political system, who lives in a certain ambiguity as it relates to traditional forms of politics, does not usually have the will required to issue draconian criminal statutes election, and is inclined to an attitude of tolerance and hypocrisy. On the other hand, rarely prosecutes someone for having committed a crime of electoral nature.

More effective in fighting electoral corruption is any action that is fulfilled in the cultivation of public morality and the development of the transparency of electoral processes. In the fight against this evil we can expect better results from a non-criminal treatment of the phenomenon, consisting of measures such as citizenship education, democratic participation mechanisms, procedures for challenging election other administrative and judicial sanctions of a political (annulment of the election, permanent inability to run for elected office) politicians who engage in anti-electoral morality.

II. Methods and agents

Electoral corrupt practices can occur in any of the instances of the electoral process: before the vote (voter manipulation, obstruction of partisan activities, retention of voter identification documents, v. Gr.), During the vote ( electoral violence, voter bribery, double or multiple voting, fraudulent introduction of votes in the polls) or after the voting (vote count not valid or fictitious increase of the counts during the election).

Electoral corruption agent can be any of the protagonists of the elections, political parties, candidates, voters, individuals, election officials and, in general, any government official. Each and every one of them can be actors and promoters, from their particular field of action, violence or electoral fraud. That is why the law has had to multiply in the definition of criminal conduct numerous special subject to administrative sanctions and criminal penalties.

Of particular concern is the financing of election campaigns by political parties and the use of mass media for partisan and electoral. In order to ensure equal opportunities for all candidates and party trends and mitigate the power of money and power corrupting the electoral contests, important chapter of the Electoral Law in many countries today is on: the regulation of functioning of political parties, limitation, advertising and public funding of election expenses and access on equal terms to the media for political propaganda.

The quantity and quality of media used for electoral corruption are only limited by imagination (unfortunately very prolific in this field), the audacity and the availability of financial resources and personnel. Influence peddling, bribery, threats, violence, malfeasance, the forgery, omission or delay in exercising public functions and even criminal computer manipulation (risk they bring the progress of modern life) are part of the broad repertoire of behaviors, from the perspective of electoral sociology, are studied as electoral corruption. Many practices of electoral corruption, however, tend to escape to the provisions of a criminal nature, and would not classify them as crimes always easy. For example, the use of public office to proselytize, all the machinations own patronage (handling a captive electorate for favors usually are dispensed from a position of power in the state), financial malpractice policy.

III. Controls

Electoral law and regulation is exceptionally thorough, precisely because of his desire to surround guarantees the right to vote. Both zeal for the integrity of the vote, expressed great complexity of controls, ritualities, remedies and sanctions, creates the impression that justified the Electoral Law of the budget of mistrust. It happens, in fact, that without so many provisions and safeguards the suffrage would be exposed to many injuries.

The electoral corruption controls fall into three categories: preventive, punitive and corrective. In the category of preventive controls, as the word implies, consist of measures to anticipate or guard against any possible defect or fraud, are all those provisions that seek to give effect, in the organization and conduct of elections, those indispensable principles any fair election, such as fairness and responsibility of election officials, ballot secrecy, publicity of the ballot, the voter freedom, loyalty counts votes. Prevents fraud electoral organization is independent of government, political parties and candidates to be his witnesses to the polls, citizens are appointed in charge of the ballot regardless of the political organs of state and party politicians themselves, that everything that has happened during the vote count is left in a report written record, that the election day citizens enjoy immunity and therefore can not be arrested or detained except in cases of flagrante delicto. The precautions are the substance of the electoral law and are never enough to avert the danger of fraud.If the corruption is consumed, the law could suppress punitive measures and corrective actions. Punitive measures that seek to punish those responsible, may be purely administrative and consist, for example, arrest, dismissal of public employees and fines. Punitive measures can be also a criminal. Electoral Criminal Law is concerned, primarily, to suppress some behaviors of electoral corruption, for which the laws have established a growing number of criminal offenses. The Election Laws Criminal Codes of Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela provide more than 30 electoral crimes, that of Argentina 25; those of Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay, between 11 and 19.

Corrective measures are intended to amend the acts of choice which warn errors or annulments, which can often be due to fraudulent behavior. Normally, election laws allow, through corrective stakeholders to challenge the result of the election officials both before counting the votes and declare the election, and subsequently before the judges, that is invalidated an accumulation of votes or annul the election of whoever did not comply with certain legal requirements.

In conclusion, the best control over electoral corruption is social control, which is exercised through civic education through the media, through a modern electoral law more preventive than repressive (for example, by political subjection of a regime demanding but realistic qualities, disqualifications and incompatibilities), and various mechanisms of democratic participation (public hearings, citizen oversight, revocation of the mandate).

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