Peter Gibbons researches politics on Facebook

August 11th, 2009 at 7:46 am by Peter Gibbons

What if everything you knew about politics came from the internet?  What if people based their vote on which politician was the most popular on or Bebo?  It’s unlikely and a bit of a nightmare scenario really but on-line sources of information are becoming increasingly important for voters. 

To test my vague theory in New Zealand politics, I searched on Facebook for each party leader and examined the groups supporting and, in some cases opposing, them.  Here are the results:

(National) – 14,388 supporters.  Interestingly the “I HEART John Key” and “Scientologists for John Key” groups have exactly the same number of members.  I’m presuming they are the same people.

(United Nations) – 5, 408 supporters.

(Labour) – 1,112 members of a group wanting him to be Prime Minister in 2011 and 3 in a quite different group who think he is a DILF.  Look up what it means at your peril.

(Act) – 719 supporters.

(Green) – 567 supporters.  His on-line presence grew significantly when I spelled his first name correctly in the search field.

(Green) – 339 supporters.

Winston Peters (Retired) – 236 supporters for Prime Minister, 11 supporters for next year’s Dancing with the Stars.  Both quite terrifying prospects really.

(Progressive) – 17 supporters, much higher than expected.

(Maori Party) – No Facebook groups supporting him but a couple which are worryingly opposed (and in apparent breach of Facebook policies).

(Maori Party) – No Facebook groups supporting or opposing her.  There is one offering to be a support group for Mrs Turia going back to school but the tag is “just for fun – outlandish statements.”

(United Future) – Mr Dunne does not have an official supporters group.  The group “I lost my phone drinking in London – numbers please!!! (Peter Dunne)” is almost certainly not him.  Peter Dunne does not strike me as the kind of man who, under any circumstances, would use three exclamation points.

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11 Responses to “Peter Gibbons researches politics on Facebook”

  1. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    If you want to read the extreme nightmare scenario of this have a look at Ben Elton’s Book, “Blind Faith”. Funny at times but at others the giggles are a bit forced as you realise their may be a small chance that some of it could come true and that some of it is almost here already.

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  2. mike12 (183 comments) says:

    Is it just Coincidence that Phil Goff only has 7% of the fans that JK has?

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  3. Repton (769 comments) says:

    There’s an “NZ Politics” application on Facebook. It’s pretty simple: install the app, then say who you support.

    If the election had been voted on only by politically-interested facebook users, the results would have been:

    Green: 29.4%
    National: 28.9%
    Labour: 28.9%
    ACT: 8%
    Maori: 2.1%
    Other: 2.7%

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  4. Chthoniid (1,966 comments) says:

    I’m actually surprised to see that Anderton has managed to gather 17 supporters.

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  5. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    @ Chhttthonniiidd Catholics have big families

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  6. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    OK now I have looked at his FB supporters, some of whom actually appear to be New Zealanders and none of whom are “Andertons”. What’s with that kid – is that really the best photo he had for his profile?

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  7. FletcherB (60 comments) says:

    “Peter Dunne does not strike me as the kind of man who, under any circumstances, would use three exclamation points.”

    Gold!!!

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  8. Simeon (142 comments) says:

    For the referendum there is a group with 2400 members supporting a NO vote.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=14232687971

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  9. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Phil Goff a DILF? Okay I get the ILF part (and you’re right, I just threw up in my mouth) but the D? Can someone enlighten me?

    Deadwood?
    Dimwit?
    Drone?

    It surely can’t be something even worse (ending in “…head”)?! Maybe it’s something more convoluted… like, say, “Duckman’s placeholder”?

    (Sorry Phil, nothing personal :-D )

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  10. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    @ Rex well a MILF is a “Mom I’d ….” so a DILF is a “Dad I’d…”

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  11. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Do a search on ‘John Key” and choose the “new zealand” one. How many common friends? Try the same with Helen Clark ( also new zealand one ) and see how many friends you have in common. The results may surprise you. NZ is a very small place.

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