Advancing the impact of social media on political behavior

05.10.2015 - 12:00 bis 13:30
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Art der Veranstaltung: 
AB B-Kolloquium
Homero Gil de Zúñiga
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Universität Wien

This talk will analyze the impact of social media on democratic outcomes from two very different empirical perspectives. First, relying on a U.S. two-wave-panel-data, I’ll examine the role of social media as a sphere for political expression and its effects on political participation. Informational uses of social media explain social media political expression, which in turn promotes political participation. However, this first study also clarifies the effect of using social media for other purposes — social interaction — in fostering political expression and participation processes. Results indicate social media news-use has direct effects on offline political participation, and indirect effects on offline and online political participation mediated via political expression. Furthermore, social media use for social-interaction doesn’t have a direct influence in people's political engagement, but rather an indirect effect by means of citizens expressing themselves politically.

Secondly, I’m also interested in shedding light on the political implications of what I called “news find me perception” and “news finds me effect” of social media. That is, the belief that people have about receiving important information and being up to date about public affairs issues relying solely in the power of their networks, as these social-ties provide them with that information. Based on a different US national, two-wave longitudinal panel data, I will discuss the effect this belief may have on people’s news use habits and their level of political knowledge.