Styles of Communication, Vol 2, No 1 (2010)

Online Negative Campaign in the 2004 Romanian Presidential Elections

Antonio Momoc


The 2004 electoral campaign marks the beginning of internet use in the political communication in Romania. It has also been the first campaign that resorts to negative communication via online tools. The main actors of this negative campaign, motivated and involved in it by the strategic planners and PR specialists, were the sympathizers of the DA Alliance. Its communication consultants launched an online platform on their candidate’s website on which the party members and sympathizers could upload electoral materials. The funnier and more depreciative the electoral materials regarding the Social Democratic Party (SDP) counter-candidate were, the more visible they were online, being sent through email, through visited blogs or viewed on video-sharing websites.

As a space dedicated to the freedom of expression, situated beyond any official (state) censorship, the online environment became the space where the DA Alliance sympathizers got actively involved in its campaign. One of the fundamental reasons was that the prime minister in 2004 (a SDP member) was easy to be mocked at and treated on internet as if he were a peer of the DA Alliance voters. This pseudo-democratization transformed the DA Alliance candidate and its communication strategic planners into winners.


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