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The upcoming parliamentary elections hold many firsts – a new electoral law, some 700,000 first-time voters, and a record 86 female candidates.Both for candidates seeking to reach a wider swath of the population and for observers attempting to gauge the pulse of Lebanon's electorate, social media has opened new opportunities and brought about new challenges, compared to when the country last voted for Parliament in 2009 – just two years after the release of the first iPhone.According to Wehbe, social media analysis in Lebanon reflects people's sentiments, but not necessarily their actions.Research conducted by Ipsos Interactive Services, the second largest market research organization in the U.K., found that 46 percent of respondents deemed social media to be a significant platform used to engage and connect with voters.According to Habre, while 76 percent of respondents said they did not believe elections will bring about change, this percentage was driven by voters above the age of 30, who have grown disillusioned following the 2009 elections. The growth of social media also poses challenges that have yet to be tackled – the 2017 electoral law, for instance, outlined how candidates are allowed to use traditional media for campaigning, but failed to address social media specifically.
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