The subtle nature of Facebook politics: Swedish social network site users and political participation

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Abstract

Sweden, with a high level of political participation and an avant-garde position regarding internet access, broadband and social media penetration in the population, is a critical case for studying social media in relation to political participation. Three types of users – members of political parties, members of interest organizations, and non-members – are interviewed in focus groups about their attitudes to political content in the social network site Facebook. The discussions show that although practices and attitudes vary, using social network sites alone does not drive previously inactive respondents to political participation. Respondents who are members of interest organizations view social network sites as valuable tools for participation, whereas respondents who are not refrain from sharing political views with their friends. They are exposed to political content and requests for participation, but prefer generally to remain passive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1127
JournalNew Media & Society
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science

Free keywords

  • Web 2.0
  • social network sites
  • social media
  • political participation
  • political mobilization

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