The relationship between passive and active non-political social media use and political expression on Facebook and Twitter

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Abstract

Departing from the conventional approach that emphasizes civic and political motives for political engagement, this study investigates how political social media behaviors - political expression - might emerge out of everyday, non-political use of the sites from an interpersonal communication perspective. Using two separate adult samples of Facebook (n = 727) and Twitter users (n = 663), this study examines how non-political, passive (NPP, consuming non-political content) and non-political, active (NPA, producing non-political content) social media use relate to expression of political voice on the sites. Findings show that only NPA use is positively associated with increased political expression, and this relationship is partially explained by political efficacy. The patterns of findings are consistent across Facebook and Twitter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-420
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Active social media use
  • Passive social media use
  • Political efficacy
  • Political expression

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