Inspired or Discouraged? How Politics on Social Media Impacts Young Voters

NBC Universal, Inc.

Whether it's on Tik Tok, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, political content is all the rage right now on social media, but is it encouraging young people to vote or scaring them away?

Frine Coley says she tracks political news every day.

"There's definitely an increase on my social media page for sure of other people just saying be aware," she said.

Pick a candidate or a party and there's no limit to the pages where people gather, organize and inform.

"Whether it's issues on the right or the left, whatever we do in terms of this election, it's going to affect us for a long time," Kalhan Rosenblatt, a youth and internet culture reporter for NBCNews.com, said. "They are the youngest generation that is able to vote."

But at least one local professor says his students also see a downside to being online.

"All of these people come out and attack them," San Jose State University Professor Bob Rucker said. "All of these people try to put them down or make them feel weaker. And as a result, I think some of them are weary, or leery, of voting because of the social media reactions they might receive."

That hasn't slowed the record number of users and record-high stock prices for social media companies.

Some social media sites say they're gaining users because of political controversy. Snapchat says some people came on board during a recent Facebook boycott. Some conservative-leaning social media sites say they've seen new users leave Twitter and Facebook as we get close to the election.

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