In recent years, social media has become an integral part of modern-day political campaigns, but it's a double-edged sword that can prove harmful or even disastrous. President Barack Obama's campaign found that out the hard way on Tuesday, as a careless reblog on its official Tumblr had to be taken down. The post, an e-card with the caption "Vote like your lady parts depend on it" and the subsequent comment "because they kinda do," was picked up by conservative bloggers who took issue with the language in the card. Some even felt that the e-card's words diminished women.
Obama's campaign commented that the reblog had not gone through the normal approval process, and it was removed. The Tumblr blogger who had originally posted the image was unsure why the e-card post had suddenly gone viral, until another user chimed in that the president had reblogged it.
Even though the blog was taken down, the hashtag #LadyParts quickly gained popularity on Twitter. In fact, as of Tuesday, the hashtag was being used more than 1,500 times per hour. One person who seemed to not mind the diction of the e-card tweeted, "Me and my #ladyparts are voting for the candidate who wants to protect them, not police them. #Obama2012." A Mitt Romney fan chimed in with this tweet, "Me and my ladyparts made it through Reagan and two Bush terms. I think I'll be just fine with Mitt Romney. #TheFive." Other people took the opportunity to further discuss how the presidential candidates' policies will affect women in America.
As the election gets closer, both campaigns will have to remain vigilant to avoid bigger Internet gaffes. Trending for all the wrong reasons could prove damaging and have long-term effects.