Bill Rand, assistant professor of marketing and director of the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business comments on social media’s effect on the gun control debate that has been revived by the recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.:
“Both sides of the debate are using social media to attempt to persuade the American public. For instance, the Brady Campaign has a new app that accepts gun control campaign donations, monitors gun lobby donations to congressional representatives and gives users the means to share all of this immediately via social media. Additionally, Democrats have been using Twitter hashtag #NowlsIsTheTime to push for new gun control legislation. At the same time, the NRA has been using Facebook and Twitter to spread its arguments as widely as possible. But one of the major benefits of social media is that we are not just constrained to official voices. Individual users have been extremely active on social media, arguing for their respective sides of the debate. This, in many ways, is the true egalitarian power of social media.”
Rand uses computer models to help understand various complex systems such as suburban sprawl, traffic patterns and financial systems. His current research focuses on the diffusion of information across social media platforms.
He is available for further comment. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-405-7229.
The Smith School has an in-house facility for live or taped interviews with business and public policy experts via fiber-optic line for television or multimedia content.