Social media actions and interactions: The role of the Facebook and Twitter during the 2014 European Parliament elections in the 28 EU nations.
Authors: Lilleker, D., Koc-Michalska, K., Zajac, J. and Michalski, T.
Start date: 2 July 2015
Most political parties across the democratic sphere have created their own spaces within social media. While ostensibly studies show that social media is being utilized by political parties to further their electoral goals, the uses of their social media profiles by visitors is largely beyond official control without devoting significant resources to moderation. This study will be the first to gather data that allows us to detect patterns of participation within and potentially across nations, but in particular within nations and across parties to determine the extent that visitors use social media to promote parties (through liking and sharing) or for entering comments on party posts or for entering into discussions with other visitors. We specifically seek to understand whether we can detect evidence of a political ecosystem in which visitors visit multiple party profiles, enter debates across differing profiles and so contribute to something that might resemble an informed and engaged public sphere.