Browsing by Author "Bimber, Bruce"
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- ItemFrom online political posting to mansplaining: the gender gap and social media in political discussion(2019) Koc-Michalska, Karolina; Schiffrin, Anya; Lopez, Anamaria; Boulianne, Shelley; Bimber, BruceThe gender dynamics of political discussion are important. These dynamics shape who shares their political views and how they share their views and reactions to these views. Using representative survey data from the United States and the UK, we investigate how social media platforms shape the gender dynamics of political posting. We find that on Facebook, gender does not predict political posting, whereas on Twitter, the gender gap is more pronounced. We also examine the concept of “mansplaining”—a term used to describe a patronizing form of communication directed at women by men. Firstly, we find that posting about political issues to Twitter is more likely to result in being an explainee but also being an explainer of political issues. Furthermore, posting to Twitter increases the likelihood of men reporting having been accused of mansplaining and women reporting having experienced it. In general, more than half of the women say they have experienced mansplaining, especially those who are younger, well educated, and left-leaning. We argue that the possibility of being mansplained affects who is willing to post their opinions online, and as such, caution should be exercised when using digital trace data to represent public opinion.
- ItemMobilizing media: comparing TV and social media effects on protest mobilization(2020) Boulianne, Shelley; Koc-Michalska, Karolina; Bimber, BruceThe year 2017 saw a cycle of protest ignited by President Trump’s election and subsequent policies. This research seeks to investigate the role of social media and television in raising awareness of protest events and increasing participation in marches and demonstrations. This paper uses data from two surveys conducted in May and June 2017, during the peak of this cycle of protest. We explore the role of social media for protest participation (in general) as well as for awareness and participation in the Women’s March and March for Science. We find that Twitter use offers more consistent effects compared to Facebook in relation to the cycle of protest. In contrast, television use has no impact on awareness and thus, limited potential for mobilization. Social media is distinctive in relation to mobilization, because of social networking features that allow people to learn about specific events, discuss the issues, expose people to invitations to participation, as well as identify members of one’s social network who are also interested in participation.
- ItemPlatform affordances and political participation: how social media reshape political engagement(2022) Theocharis, Yannis; Boulianne, Shelley; Koc-Michalska, Karolina; Bimber, BrucePolitical participation opportunities have been expanding for years, most recently through digital tools. Social media platforms have become well integrated into civic and political participation. Using a cross-national sample from the United States, United Kingdom and France, this article examines whether acts of participation associated with social media should be classified using a traditional, five-factor solution to the structure of participatory acts. The distinction between online and offline participation is set aside, focusing instead on acts supported and enabled by social media, and in particular on differences between the use of Twitter and Facebook. The analysis shows that acts enabled by social media do not load with traditional factors in the structure of participation. Political acts employing Twitter and Facebook are distinct in the factor structure of participation.
- ItemPublic beliefs about falsehoods in news(2020) Koc-Michalska, Karolina; Bimber, Bruce; Gomez, Daniel; Jenkins, Matthew; Boulianne, ShelleyThe circulation of misinformation, lies, propaganda, and other kinds of falsehood has, to varying degrees, become a challenge to democratic publics. We are interested in the question of what publics believe about their own exposure to falsehoods in news, and about what contributes to similarities and differences in these beliefs across countries. We are also interested in the question of whether publics report attempting to verify news that is suspect to them. Here we report on a comparative election survey in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. We find three key predictors of publics' beliefs that they have been exposed to falsehoods: discussion of news, use of social media for political purposes, and exposure to counter-attitudinal information. The nexus between these three predictors and beliefs about falsehoods exists in all three countries, as we anticipate that it likely exists elsewhere. We do not find voters on the right to be different from those on the left in the United Kingdom and France, but do find a substantial difference in the United States, which is likely due to the 2016 Trump campaign. We conclude with concerns about the imbalance in beliefs about exposure to falsehoods in the United States and the apparent capacity of a single leader, in the right context, to shape public beliefs about what is to be believed.
- ItemRight-wing populism, social media and echo chambers in Western democracies(2020) Boulianne, Shelley; Koc-Michalska, Karolina; Bimber, BruceMany observers are concerned that echo chamber effects in digital media are contributing to the polarization of publics and in some places to the rise of right-wing populism. This study employs survey data collected in France, the United Kingdom, and United States (1500 respondents in each country) from April to May 2017. Overall, we do not find evidence that online/social media explain support for right-wing populist candidates and parties. Instead, in the USA, use of online media decreases support for right-wing populism. Looking specifically at echo chambers measures, we find offline discussion with those who are similar in race, ethnicity, and class positively correlates with support for populist candidates and parties in the UK and France. The findings challenge claims about the role of social media and the rise of populism.
- ItemSelective avoidance on social media: a comparative study of Western democracies(2021) Skoric, Marko M.; Zhu, Qinfeng; Koc-Michalska, Karolina; Boulianne, Shelley; Bimber, BruceThis study examines the phenomena of political unfriending and content removal on social media in three Western democracies—France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We seek to understand the role of crosscutting discussion, confrontational discussion style, and ideological extremity in triggering unfriending and content removal on social media, while shedding light on cross-country differences. The findings show that selective avoidance behaviors are much more common in the United States than either in France or the United Kingdom. They also show that crosscutting discussion and confrontational style are the predictors of selective avoidance across all the above countries, while ideological extremity plays a role in the United States only. We suggest that while social media provide opportunities for citizens to engage in discussions with people with dissimilar political views and socioeconomic backgrounds, they also allow them to easily reestablish more homophilous environments via content removal and tie dissolution.