Wes P. Rahn

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The recent proliferation of social media platforms has revolutionized the way individuals convey ideas and communicate with one another. Social media has quickly become the most dominate form of communication, surpassing more traditional modes of communication such as newspapers and television. It is estimated that over two-thirds of American adults now use social networking sites. Moreover, an astonishing 90% of young adults use social media. Social media has not only become an integral part of American culture in terms of entertainment and communication, but has also become a useful tool for politicians and the electorate who wish to engage in political discourse. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram enable politicians and candidates running for political office to reach a wide base of voters with targeted campaign advertisements. Consequently, between January 2019 and October 2020, both Joseph Biden and Donald Trump collectively spent a whopping $201 million on Facebook advertisements alone. Moreover, it is impossible to calculate the insurmountable value of advertising that candidates receive from individual users on social media who share posts supporting a particular candidate at their own volition.