Political communities on Facebook across 28 European countries

Authors: Koc-Michalska, K. and Lilleker, D.

Journal: Questions de communication

Volume: 36

Issue: 2

Pages: 245-265

ISSN: 1633-5961

DOI: 10.4000/questionsdecommunication.21297


Studies show that political campaigns are increasingly developing a digital strategy to convert their social media followers into agents of the campaign. Remediation of content offers the potential to accelerate the reach of party messages, and there is evidence that this has real world impact. In a comparative examination of all parties standing for the 2014 election to the European parliament, we find that parties with existing large support bases are the most likely to benefit from the potential offered by social media. Having a large number of followers means benefiting from greater prominence by captivating more activists. There is some evidence of “equalisation”, however. Parties with pro or anti-EU stances have the highest percentage of activists within their followership but also attract the largest numbers of those who only comment. We suggest, therefore, that while there is evidence that strong ideological commitment motivates activists, it also generates adversarial dynamics. Qualitative research is required to extend these findings as to understand the nature of online discourse across party social media pages.


Source: Manual

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