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Network Interventions: How Citizens’ Social Media Networks Influence Their Political Participation

Sat, May 27, 14:00 to 15:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo Ballroom H


Social media platforms are special places of information exposure because they are structured around a user’s social network and not around content, like other news media. Studies could show that news exposure on social media can affect citizens’ political participation due to the personalized, targeted, & inadvertent exposure. However, previous research did not strongly focus on how the characteristics of a citizens’ social media network might alter this relationship. We tests how political information exposure via three different media channels affects political participation among Danish citizens and examine possible moderation effects of users network size, network diversity and the newly introduced parameter of perceived network activity. To this end, a two-wave online survey (n=858) among the Danish population was conducted, applying a smartphone-based media diary study. We find strong direct effects of social media exposure on participation but results indeed indicate that such effects are dependent on citizens’ network consistency.