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In Twitter, instead, users follow personal accounts based on particular interests, regardless of reciprocity. Further, research shows that information sought from Facebook is obtained through social means, such as asking other users. On Twitter, information is sought more through cognitive means e.

Digital media and political engagement worldwide : a comparative study in SearchWorks catalog

In fact, although Facebook may facilitate more weak-tie than strong-tie associations, as social media users who have unusually large networks add acquaintances into their friendship circle Dunbar, 10 , it is with strong ties with whom they engage in more one-to-one communication on this platform, such as directed communication e. Second, in Facebook the information is organized socially and it is easier to participate in threads since users can see how their contacts respond under the same thread. This implies that although both Facebook and Twitter were designed for social interaction, Facebook is more specialized in the establishment and strengthening of relationships and connectedness than Twitter Kwon et al.

And third, regarding the profile characteristics, Twitter allows users greater anonymity, whereas Facebook's profiles are more customized with personal information.

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Based on their different affordances, we can now theorize about the implications of Facebook and Twitter for internal and collective efficacy. First, to the degree that sharing and discussing information is a determinant triggering collective efficacy, Facebook is better equipped to promote collective action: A user's connections on Facebook comprise a distinctly tangible list of friends with real profiles with whom they have a relationship, whereas the anonymity of most Twitter users, and the lack of knowledge of them, make it more difficult for users who need a more specific context and conception of their audience to interact with them.

Consequently, it is possible to predict that users employing Facebook for political purposes will receive more feedback from their close contacts, activating their sense of collective efficacy. Similarly, the experience of posting political content on Twitter, with the potential to reach an unknown audience that probably is not going to interact personally with that content, may be salient to one's sense of internal efficacy but not necessarily to collective dimensions of efficacy.


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In fact, for large-scale networks, closer contacts are relatively more conducive to internalization of peer reactions to one's actions Centola, 8. In an experimental setting using Facebook, Bond et al. Furthermore, prior research has found that social pressure is more conducive to participation than information gain Mutz, Thus, just as social reinforcement is more likely to take place on Facebook, political information is more likely to circulate on Twitter.

We expect, then, that:. Political sharing on Facebook will exhibit a stronger relationship to collective efficacy than political sharing of Twitter. Political sharing on Twitter will exhibit a stronger relationship to internal efficacy than political sharing of Facebook. On the other hand, research has shown that participants in online communities also achieve a higher sense of personal empowerment by assuming a helper role. Thus, when providing information to others, they boost their confidence in dealing with issues, which again suggests an increase in their efficacy Sundar, Additionally, since SNS support requests for information or perspective-sharing, and networks usually respond to information or comments posted by users, it is likely that users will find the resources in their networks when they ask for help or want to clarify information presented by the media.

In this way, we expect that social media will expand the realm of collective action for users interested in solving political problems. Thus, we anticipate a mediation between political use of social media and participation through the different forms of political efficacy:. Internal efficacy mediates the effects of political sharing on Twitter on political participation.

Collective efficacy mediates the effects of political sharing on Facebook on political participation. We conducted our study in Chile, an arguably appropriate setting for a case study because of its high levels of social media use and steady increase in direct political action by citizens. While in the past decade voter turnout has decreased, less-conventional political behaviors, such as public demonstrations, have increased considerably.

Internal, External and Collective Efficacy

Somma and Medel 39 found that protest events increased fourfold between and Thus, the Chilean context is similar to other Western countries experiencing high SNS use and protest activity, but increased voter apathy. Additionally, prior studies of Chile have found that social media use has played a role in triggering citizen-led direct political action Hilbert et al. Regarding the specific timing of our survey, was an election year. Compared to a nonelection year, it is likely that political uses of both Facebook and Twitter, as well as political participation, were heightened.

Thus, our study may be well-suited for finding significant relationships between the key variables. Still, a caveat is in order: Because the relationship between SNS use and participation in Chile depends on a given political context, our results could have been different had the data been collected at another time.

Participants were drawn from an opt-in Internet panel administered by Tren Digital http: To increase generalizability, the sample was matched to fit population parameters in terms of gender, age, and geographic distribution. Tests of panel attrition effects revealed no statistically significant differences across waves in demographics, social media usage, and participation.

The only statistically significant differences we detected were for the efficacy variables: The variables were gauged with composite scales of several items, all measured on 5-point scales. We also conducted a dimensionality analysis with a factor analysis principal component method on wave-1 data, which resulted in a six-factor solution: Question wording is included in the Appendix.

It is important to stress that our items include both conventional e. For each wave, we created scales by averaging responses to all items wave 1: Based on Morrell 32 , we averaged four items to gauge respondents' beliefs of personal political competence e. Because there was no theoretical expectation regarding the influence of social media on external efficacy, we included it as a control variable.

It was measured with two items gauging respondents' perceptions of the responsiveness of the political system to their personal not collective demands e. These items have been used by Chamberlain , and Niemi et al. It was operationalized using three items designed to measure sharing of political information, including posting about political issues, sharing links to news articles, and commenting on news items for a similar measure, see Vitak et al.

These items were then averaged to create a single measure wave 1: Likewise to the Facebook measure, we measured political sharing by asking respondents about the frequency with which they performed three activities on the platform: These activities were then combined into a scale wave 1: A sequential process of model construction was preferred over a single structural model to reduce the possibility of identifying spurious relationships. As the hypotheses posit direct and indirect associations between variables, we also estimated the indirect effects of political sharing on Facebook and Twitter on participation through collective and internal efficacy, while controlling for external efficacy.

Adequate model fit was evaluated using a combination of indices: We used autoregressive synchronous panel models, where change over time is estimated by regressing wave-2 variables on their wave-1 values. This approach sets a stringent test because it considers both temporal stability and covariance of key endogenous variables. This is, in part, because we derived estimates of change across the sample rather than within each individual, reducing error variance.

We include in the Appendix a correlation table of all variables used. The first structural model estimated the direct relationships of political uses of Facebook and Twitter on political participation. The model exhibited an adequate fit: As shown in Figure 1 , sharing political information on Facebook more frequently is directly correlated with engagement in more political activities, which is in line with hypothesis H1a.

The impact of social media in political debate - Mark Shephard - TEDxGlasgow

This finding, of course, does not preclude the existence of indirect effects, which we will test shortly. We then estimated the associations between political sharing on Facebook and Twitter, and internal and collective efficacy. The fit of the model was good as well: As displayed in Figure 2 , Facebook sharing has a stronger relationship with collective efficacy than Twitter sharing. Conversely, Twitter sharing exhibits a stronger association to internal efficacy than Facebook sharing.

These findings are consistent with H2a and H2b as well. As a robustness check, we re-estimated this model, this time including external efficacy as a control variable. A look at the structural coefficients explains why: None of the social media variables were predictive of external efficacy. For simplicity, autoregressive paths are not shown.

The third structural model examined whether collective and internal efficacy were associated to political participation, and yielded a very good fit: Figure 3 shows that, as predicted by H3 a and H3 b , both internal efficacy and collective efficacy had independent, positive associations to participation. When we include external efficacy, we find again that the fit of the model deteriorates relative to the initial model, as external efficacy did not produce a statistically significant relationship with the political participation index: So far, the hypotheses have been tested with separate statistical models.

To examine whether political sharing on Facebook and Twitter relate to political participation via collective and internal efficacy, we integrated the prior results into a single structural model see Figure 4. Because the previous analysis found that external efficacy was not related to political sharing on Facebook and Twitter or to political participation, we excluded it from the model.

The fit of the data to the final model was optimal: This final model enabled us to estimate whether specific social platforms have indirect relationships with political participation that operate through the two forms of efficacy of interest. Final Structural Model of Political Participation. In the case of Twitter, the confidence interval for the indirect effect through internal efficacy also excluded zero.


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These results confirmed that the indirect effects of social media platforms on participation operated through internal and collective efficacy, in line with H4a and H4b. Table reports unstandardized coefficients b , standard errors SE and bias-corrected bootstrap confidence intervals CI based on 1, bootstrap samples for the indirect effects of political sharing on Facebook and Twitter shown in Figure. Importantly, the indirect effects on political participation are not equally relevant across platforms.

Digital Media and Political Engagement Worldwide: A Comparative Study

Thus, collective efficacy explains relatively little of the effect of Facebook sharing on participation. That is, it was only through internal efficacy that sharing on Twitter mattered for political behavior. Still, there was the possibility that a different ordering of the variables could yield a structural model with better results and, thus, alert us to alternative indirect relationships not considered in our theorizing. Accordingly, considering the longstanding result that efficacy is predictive of behavior, we ran an alternative model, in which internal and collective efficacy lead to Twitter and Facebook sharing, which in turn lead to political participation.

The goodness of fit of this alternative ordering was worse than the proposed model: Furthermore, a detailed look at the path coefficients makes us suspect of the plausibility of this model. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Digital media and political engagement worldwide: Responsibility edited by Eva Anduiza, Michael J. Imprint Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, Physical description xv, p. Series Communication, society, and politics.

Social Media and Participation

Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Contributor Anduiza Perea, Eva. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Includes bibliographical references and index. The impact of digital media on citizenship in a global perspective Laia Jorba and Bruce Bimber; 3. Recent shifts in the relationship between the Internet and democratic engagement in Britain and the United States Andrew Chadwick; 4.

Political engagement and the Internet in the U. Jensen and Eva Anduiza; 6. Digital media and offline political participation in Spain Marta Cantijoch; 8. Online participation in Italy: On the causal nature of the relationship between Internet access and political engagement: Hussain and Philip N. Conclusions Laia Jorba, Michael J.


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Jensen, and Eva Anduiza. The book addresses an important gap in the contemporary literature on digital politics, identifying context dependent and transcendent political consequences of digital media use. While the majority of the empirical work in this field has been based on studies from the United States and United Kingdom, this volume seeks to place those results into comparative relief with other regions of the world.