• WFTV investigates how Fla. governor candidates use twitter


    FLORIDA - More than $100 million could be spent in this year’s Florida governor’s race, but both Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott are taking advantage of the free presense they have on social media.

    These communications get far less scrutiny than traditional campaigning, experts said.

    Both campaigns said the candidates write some of their own tweets.

    Scott’s campaign said anything written by the governor is signed “RS.”

    Members of the Crist campaign said Crist either writes or approves anything that goes on Twitter.

    Both accounts became very busy at about the same time Gov. Scott was launching his tax-cut tour.

    Crist was taking to the Internet to attack what he called a victory lap by the governor.

    WFTV political analyst Dr. Rick Foglesong said the idea is to convince people they are hearing directly from the candidate, but tweeting may provide diminishing returns since followers are often already supporters.

    “A little slippery with the facts. I think what they seek to do is communicate to the base of the candidate,” Foglesong said.

    A tweet by Crist Wednesday criticized Scott on student spending.

    While per student spending peaked in 2007 under Crist, the state also had almost 70,000 fewer students to educate.

    “Tweets get less scrutiny from fact checkers,” Foglesong said.

    Just like commercials and other ads, however, tweets are a record and while they can be deleted, all it takes is one screenshot for a bad tweet to live on forever.

    Both the Scott and Crist campaigns said they see Twitter and all social media as a way to quickly engage voters.

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