Is Facebook ‘the real presidential swing state’?

This morning’s Observer column.

So will the 2012 election provide the tipping point, the moment when the internet plays a decisive role in influencing how people vote? Given the penetration of the network into daily life, it’s obviously implausible to maintain that it isn’t having some impact on politics. The yawning gap that existed in the 1990s between cyberspace (where people do “social networking”) and “meatspace” (where they go to polling stations and vote) has clearly shrunk. But by how much?

Judging by current online activity, if the internet decided the outcome Obama would win by a mile…

But… [read on]