2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Saturday, July 29 • 15:31 - 17:00
Facebook Escapism And Online Political Participation [WIP]

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Author: Christian Pieter Hoffmann, Christoph Lutz, Severina Müller and Miriam Meckel

Abstract: Recently, much scholarship has investigated how social media affect citizens’ political participation, online and offline. In general, social media use has a positive but weak effect on participation. However, different use types exert a differentiated influence. While information-rich and active uses result in more participation, entertainment-oriented and passive uses lead to less participation. In this contribution, we introduce the concept of escapist Facebook use. We argue that Facebook might activate users to participate politically through what we call accidental political engagement, even if used in escapist ways. Based on a survey of 762 Facebook users in Germany and using linear regression, we test the influence of three Facebook use types on online political participation: consumptive, participatory and productive. Consumptive use has a negative and productive use a positive effect on online political participation. Escapism has a small positive effect. It moderates consumptive use negatively and productive use positively, strengthening existing tendencies.

Saturday July 29, 2017 15:31 - 17:00 EDT
TRS 1-147 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9