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Social media could earn votes: academic

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/10/2016

Kissing babies could take a back seat in the next election campaign, with social media gaining the potential to influence selection, a senior academic says.

Thanks to social media, Maori seats may win or lose the next election for the government, Auckland University of Technology senior lecturer Ella Henry told TV3's The Nation on Saturday.

"The next election may well be won in the Maori seats because the calibre of your social media status - the person with the biggest number of Twitter followers and Facebook followers might become the criteria for selection, as opposed to going to every meeting party and kissing every baby to get selected," she said.

A social media driven campaign is great for the minor parties because of the low cost, but it could also create the potential for disaster, she said.

"It's going to mean a lot more scrutiny from a wider audience because we are all social media attuned. So any slip ups between now and next year could be catastrophic for any of these potential candidates," Ms Henry said.

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