Facebook campaigning causes controversy

Raynor Denitzio

While most of us use the facebook.com as an easy way to stalk people, some enterprising students have found a practical purpose for the website; political campaigning.

Innovative students have used many creative means to get their faces and platforms out there, be they t-shirts, posters or links in someone’s instant messenger profile.

With its popularity among students, it was only a matter of time before candidates for SGA positions turned to the facebook for publicity.

With seemingly every student on campus having an account on the facebook, the facebook provides a perfect means for a candidate to expose themselves to as much of the student body as possible.

Furthermore, facebook groups allow candidates to list their platform, get feed back from students and link to their websites.

Starting as early as the begining of second semester, visitors to the facebook began to see group invitations on their homepage imploring them to join a group pledging their vote to a specific candidate.

Most of the candidates for president and vice president created facebook groups.

The popularity of “I’m Voting for Derek and Chris” even spawned an “I Don’t Know Who Derek and Chris Are” group.

Concerns over creating a fair race forced the SGA to address the facebook issue.

After consideration, the SGA decided that facebook groups provided an unfair advantage.

“We knew the facebook would be troublesome,” senior Molly Barrett, an Election Commissioner said.

“Since the facebook is so new candidates did not know what the laws were before campaigning started.”

“The problem with the facebook was that one of the candidates had built up a large group before we handed out the rules,” Barrett said.

“This gave them a huge advantage over their competition and that was unfair to the other candidates.”

Furthermore, the facebook provides candidates with the means to send mass e-mails and permitted them to index potential voters, in violation of SGA rules.

“There were just too many ways in which the facebook conflicted with existing rules,” Barrett said.

Due to these concerns, the decision was made to make candidates take down their facebook groups.

“We met on the day petitions were due and decided at that point it would best for all candidates to take it down rather than deal with the potential the groups had for violating the rules,” Barrett said.

With its brief political career coming to a close in a manner simmilar to many politicians, amid controversy, it appears as though the facebook will have to return to the private sector and continue it’s previous purpose in our lives;

Allowing us to keep tabs on people we were casual aquantances with in high school.