Social Media and Civic Engagement

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  • 1. Social Media andCivic EngagementKelsey HinchliffePSC 409911.6.2011 1

2. Research Questions Do Americans believe that socialmedia usage can encourage politicalparticipation? Does social media usage increasetraditional political participation? Does social media usage increasenew forms of civic engagement? 2 3. Literature Review Who uses social media? 88% of Americans have a Facebook 70% check their Facebook at least 3 times aweek 44% use Facebook as their main news source(Baumgartner and Morris 2009)3 4. Literature Review Does social media usage equal increased politicalparticipation? No more likely to sign a petition, vote or write to apolitician Hope in Germany?(Bichard, Johnson, Setzler and Zhang 2010)(Sander, Sprenger, Tumasjan and Welpe 2010)4 5. Literature Review Redefining forms of political participation For this dimension of civic and political engagementthen, the evidence suggests an optimistic picture ofthe Internet as a positive force for democraticcitizenship(Moy and Xenos 2007)5 6. Hypotheses H1: The majority of Americans believe that socialmedia encourages political participation andsupplies useful political information and news. H2: Social media users will be no more likely thanother citizens to engage in traditional forms ofpolitical participation such as voting, contributingmoney to a campaign or volunteering for acampaign. H3: Social media users will be more likely than othercitizens to engage in new forms of civicparticipation such as downloading and uploadingpolitical videos to the Internet and friendingpoliticians on Facebook and Twitter. 6 7. Dependent Variables Opinions about social media Encourage voting Acquiring political news Twitter supplies relevant politicalinformation7 8. Dependent Variables Traditional Forms of Political Participation Registered to vote Voted in 2010 elections Contributed money to a campaign in the2010 elections Volunteered for a campaign in the 2010elections 8 9. Dependent Variables New Forms of Civic Engagement Friended a politician on Twitter Friended a politician on Facebook Uploaded a video about politics Downloaded a video about politics9 10. Independent Variable Social media usageControl Variables Income Education Age Gender Race Party Identification 10 11. 11 12. Opinions About Social Media by Social Media Usage 120 100100Internet EncouragesPercentage80 83.678.2Voting6066.7 67.3 60.4 Internet Aids inAcquiring Political40InformationTwitter Supplies Relevant20Political Information 0 Social Media UserNon Social Media User Social Media Usage12 13. Traditional Political Participation by Social Media Usage 10090 89.48081.17075.7PercentageRegistered to Vote60 62.550Voted40Contributed Money to a30Campaign20Volunteered for a106.5 Campaign 1.1 21.5 0 Social Media User Non Social Media UserSocial Media Usage 13 14. New Political Participation by Social Media Usage 20 18 17.6 16 14PercentageUploaded Political Video 12 10 11.211.2Downloaded Political Video 10.1 8Friended a Politician on 6Facebook 4Followed a Politician on4.4 22.9 Twitter2.5 1.4 0Social Media User Non Social Media UserSocial Media Usage 14 15. CHANGE IN THE PROBABILITY OF BEING ASOCIAL MEDIA USER AS EACH INDEPENDENTVARIABLE INCREASES FROM ITS MIN TO MAXVALUEEduc (0 -> 1) Age (0 -> 1)Income (0 -> 1)Race (0 -> 1)Party (0 -> 1)Gender (0 -> 1) -0.20 -0.10 0.00 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.4015 16. THE PROBABILITY OF DOWNLOADING A VIDEO ABOUT POLITICSEACH INDEPENDENT VARIABLE AT ITS MINIMUM ANDMAXIMUM VALUES WITH ALL OTHER VARIABLES HELDCONSTANTProbability of outcome at minimum value Probability of outcome at maximum valueEduc (0 -> 1) Age (0 -> 1)Income (0 -> 1)Race (0 -> 1)Party (0 -> 1)Gender (0 -> 1)Social MediaUser (0 -> 1) .00 .1016 17. CHANGE IN THE PROBABILITY OF VOTING ASEACH INDEPENDENT VARIABLE INCREASES FROM ITS MIN TO MAX VALUE Educ (0 -> 1) Age (0 -> 1)Income (0 -> 1) Race (0 -> 1)Party (0 -> 1)Gender (0 -> 1)Social Media User (0 -> 1) -0.10 0.00 0.100.2017 18. Discussion Americans think highly of social medias capability toincrease political participation No significant changes in traditional forms of politicalparticipation No significant changes in new forms of civic engagementWhy arent sentiments translating to actions?18 19. Conclusion Control variables: income, education, age Are social media users proportionallyrepresented in survey? Evolving social media19 20. Conclusion Discussion, debate, freedom ofexpression Support our vibrant democracy Social media acts as a forum 20