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Social Media Participation and Local Politics: A Case Study of the Enschede Council in the Netherlands

Abstract : Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are often seen as political game changers. Yet little is known of the effects of social media on local politics. In this paper the Social Media Participation Model (SMPM) is introduced for studying the effects of social media on local political communities. The SMPM aims to explore the relationship between Social Media Participation and Community Participation. The model comprises four constructs: Social Media Choice, Social Media Use, Sense of Community and Community Engagement. The design of the case study was based on the SMPM and took place among the members and parties of the Enschede council, from a large municipality in the Netherlands. Social media participation levels were measured and compared with the Social Media Indicator (SMI). A negative correlation between Social Media Use and Sense of Community has been discovered. However, we could not find a causal effect that explains this correlation. To analyze the effects in more detail, we show directions for further improvement of the model.
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Robin Effing, Jos Hillegersberg, Theo Huibers. Social Media Participation and Local Politics: A Case Study of the Enschede Council in the Netherlands. 5th International Conference on Electronic Participation (ePart), Sep 2013, Koblenz, Germany. pp.57-68, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-40346-0_6⟩. ⟨hal-01491231⟩

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