Apps for Talking Politics with Confidence
By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer
Have you ever been caught in the cross fires of a heated political debate at the dinner table? Instead of rolling your eyes and muttering something about how discussing politics and religion is uncouth, why not join in the fun? Chances are that there are two people who are dominating the conversation while everyone else suffers in silence, so instead of succumbing to everyone else’s fate, pull out your iPhone (News - Alert) and check out the validity of the “facts” being spewed back and forth.
Forbes ran an article entitled, “5 Essential Mobile Apps for Election Season,” which is intended to serve as a voting guide. But let’s be real. Most of us already know where we stand, a fact that makes any efforts to convert the other side impossible. But that doesn’t mean that you should sit in silence while some baby boomer gets carried away with their impassioned arguments. As products of the Age of Information, pull out your tech tools (in this case your smartphone) and sling mud back at them.
An app that came as a result between a collaboration between CNN and Facebook is “I’m Voting.” Since more than half of the population is on Facebook (News - Alert), it’s not a bad venue in which to base your electoral predictions. Additionally, the combined efforts of CNN and Facebook produce facts that are interesting to you. For example, Representative Paul Ryan gained over 500,000 fans in the short time after his recent page debut. Joe Biden, who has had a page since at least 2008, has the least amount of fans with only 355,000 at the time of Ryan’s debut. However, Obama has the most fans with over 27.8 million—crushing Romney’s 4.1 million. But since both Romney and Ryan’s average fan is much older than fans of the Democratic candidates, and because there are presumably much younger Facebook account holders, there could be more support for the Republican candidates out there than can be gathered from Facebook.
So, another app that could be resourceful is “Ad Hawk”. The Sunlight (News - Alert) Foundation, which is a non-partisan not-for-profit group, despite the seemingly liberal connotations behind the name, offers insightful data about groups that fund each candidate.
Finally, when all else fails, go to FactCheck.org, an app that will lead you to the truth behind the sudden information that seems to come to light in TV ads. Is Mitt Romney a huge fan of outsourcing? Is Obama essentially continuing the surveillance strategies contrived from the Bush administration? Wtth apps like these, the only concern you should have over getting to the truth in time for a quick rebuttal, is your network speed.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman