Apr 1st, 2021, 11:10 PM

Upcoming YouTube Sensation: President Macron

By Isabella Bosco
Image credit: Unsplash/CardMapr-nl
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With an upcoming election and COVID-19 restrictions limiting French politicians' time to rally large crowds, many have turned to alternative sources of social media in order to reach a younger audience and send their message across. Recently, President Macron has challenged popular YouTube sensations McFly and Carlito to promote the new sanitary measures in a song. If their video achieves 10 million views, which it has, the President agreed to participate on their channel and to be filmed at the l'Élysée. 

The YouTubers who share 6 million followers, reached their goal of 10 million views just three days after their video was released. The video is a soft-tuned guitar melody that encourages French citizens to apply these sanitary measures in order to regain their former life. According to Europe 1, President Macron has agreed to partake in a trivia contest on McFly and Carlito’s channel in an effort to gain trust from a younger audience. 

Macron’s alternative efforts are not the first to appear between French politicians and social media. Twitch, an up-and-coming form of social media that is used as a platform for live streaming video games has now taken political guests. According to Politico, “In the past few weeks alone, former President François Hollande, government spokesperson Gabriel Attal, and even Prime Minister Jean Castex have turned to the platform for live chats, hoping to reach a new audience.”

But the question remains if these methods actually work. If politicians promote themselves through these social media platforms, it is likely for them to obtain the youth’s vote. Clément Viktorovitch, a professor at Science Po, “explains the concept of judgment heuristics, a cognitive bias by which individuals vote based on effect rather than reflection,” on a programing by Canal +. He points out that viewers who witness President Macron positively supporting influencers, such as McFly and Carlito, automatically assume that his political strategies are positive as well. 

Politicians are using dangerous tactics to gain younger voters. Just by speaking to influencers, or being present on social media platforms, voters base their choice on a good feeling rather than reflecting on a politician's policy.