YouTube Stars Discuss Hillary Clinton, Need for "Respectful" Political Dialogue on Social Media

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Following BeautyCon's town hall with Hillary Clinton in Hollywood on Tuesday, social media stars Dulce Ruiz (YouTube name "Dulce Candy") and Raymond Braun — who moderated and emceed the event — elaborated on the importance of the millennial vote and why social media is necessary to the election.

Hillary Clinton met with 100 notable digital media content creators at a town hall on Tuesday to address an array of hot topics, including the current election and the influence of social media on politics. Held at Neuehouse in Hollywood, the BeautyCon-hosted and -curated event welcomed YouTube stars Dulce Ruiz (YouTube name "Dulce Candy") and Raymond Braun to moderate and emcee the conversation with Clinton. The pair spoke with The Hollywood Reporter following the event about the power and importance of the social sphere to the political arena.

Braun, who formerly led LGBT marketing and partnerships for YouTube that landed him a spot on Forbes "30 Under 30," told THR of the event, "It was important for creators to attend because I believe that with an audience comes a responsibility. It's so important for us to be talking about political issues, talking about the election and why it is important, and encouraging every young person to get involved in the election cycle and to vote."

"I know that politics can sometimes feel intimidating or overwhelming, or you might be afraid to express something on social media because it could be controversial or people could critique what you said," Braun added. "But at its core, politics is really about sharing ideas about how to improve people's lives and how to improve the country."

The event's emcee and Clinton advocate ("I think that she's the most experienced candidate that we've ever seen," Braun said of the presidential candidate) stressed, "I think that normalizing conversations about politics and letting people know that it's OK to express opinions, it's OK to disagree, but just to do so in a respectful way." 

"I think it behooves politicians to have a presence there and be engaging with people on social media because that's where a lot of these important conversations are happening," Braun believes of political influencers. "I think that Secretary Clinton does a great job on that on a day-to-day basis and also through hosting events like this," he said. "It's a great way for politicians to get a better sense of what people are talking about and what voters care about through analyzing the conversations and trends that are happening on social media."

Beauty vlogger Dulce Candy, who moderated the afternoon, said of the event, "It was important as we all have young, millennial audiences, that need to be reminded that their voice matters and that we need them to rise to the occasion and exercise their right to learn and to vote."

"Regardless of a person’s political affiliation, it’s very important to become educated on the candidates, the political conversations at hand, and make an informed decision in November and most important, vote!" she told THR. "Social media helps give everyone a voice."

For those who want to enter into the digital social media sphere and engage in political conversations, Braun offers this piece of advice: "Even if you might be intimidated or scared to enter the quote political arena by starting to tweet about it or making videos about it, if you set the tone that you want to do it in a positive, productive, respectful way, that will have a cascading effect down to the bottom conversation on social media."

"Young people have tremendous power when we turn out and vote," Braun implored millennials and Generation Z. "We have enough power to potentially sway an election. We have politicians like Hillary Clinton who are willing to engage with us and listen to us, so take advantage of that opportunity."

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