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Political participation on Facebook during Brexit : Does user engagement on media pages stimulate engagement with campaigns?

Bossetta, Michael LU ; Dutceac Segesten, Anamaria LU and Trenz, Hans-Jörg (2017) In Journal of Language and Politics
Abstract
This study investigates, over an 18-month period surrounding the 2016 Brexit referendum, the commenting activity of nearly 2 million Facebook users engaging with political news from British media or with the posts of referendum campaigns. We ask whether citizens’ engagement with political news on Facebook motivates their participation with political campaign posts, and we examine whether users commenting on campaign pages trend towards ideologically reinforcing media. Overall, we find comparatively low levels of commenting activity on the official referendum campaigns vis-à-vis the media, and the majority of users (70%) commented only once. Looking at the subset of users commenting on both page types (“cross-posters”), we identify a... (More)
This study investigates, over an 18-month period surrounding the 2016 Brexit referendum, the commenting activity of nearly 2 million Facebook users engaging with political news from British media or with the posts of referendum campaigns. We ask whether citizens’ engagement with political news on Facebook motivates their participation with political campaign posts, and we examine whether users commenting on campaign pages trend towards ideologically reinforcing media. Overall, we find comparatively low levels of commenting activity on the official referendum campaigns vis-à-vis the media, and the majority of users (70%) commented only once. Looking at the subset of users commenting on both page types (“cross-posters”), we identify a general spillover effect from media to campaign pages, suggesting a positive correlation between political interest and online participation on Facebook. Reverse spillover occurs immediately around and after the vote, with Remain cross-posters active on the Guardian while Leave cross-posters’ media engagement registers as more diffuse. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Big Data, Political Campaigning, Public Pages, Facebook Comments, Referendum, Social Media, Polarization, Political Communication
in
Journal of Language and Politics
publisher
John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN
1569-9862
DOI
10.1075/jlp.17009.dut
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
72b65171-a1f0-4a0c-83fe-fb3dc8e23c86
date added to LUP
2017-11-24 12:01:55
date last changed
2017-11-24 14:44:16
@article{72b65171-a1f0-4a0c-83fe-fb3dc8e23c86,
  abstract     = {This study investigates, over an 18-month period surrounding the 2016 Brexit referendum, the commenting activity of nearly 2 million Facebook users engaging with political news from British media or with the posts of referendum campaigns. We ask whether citizens’ engagement with political news on Facebook motivates their participation with political campaign posts, and we examine whether users commenting on campaign pages trend towards ideologically reinforcing media. Overall, we find comparatively low levels of commenting activity on the official referendum campaigns vis-à-vis the media, and the majority of users (70%) commented only once. Looking at the subset of users commenting on both page types (“cross-posters”), we identify a general spillover effect from media to campaign pages, suggesting a positive correlation between political interest and online participation on Facebook. Reverse spillover occurs immediately around and after the vote, with Remain cross-posters active on the Guardian while Leave cross-posters’ media engagement registers as more diffuse.},
  author       = {Bossetta, Michael and Dutceac Segesten, Anamaria and Trenz, Hans-Jörg},
  issn         = {1569-9862},
  keyword      = {Big Data,Political Campaigning,Public Pages,Facebook Comments,Referendum,Social Media,Polarization,Political Communication},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  publisher    = {John Benjamins Publishing Company},
  series       = {Journal of Language and Politics},
  title        = {Political participation on Facebook during Brexit : Does user engagement on media pages stimulate engagement with campaigns?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/jlp.17009.dut},
  year         = {2017},
}