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Revolution in the making? Social media effects across the globe

Faculty Advisor




social media, political behavior, cross-national, meta-analysis, Facebook

Abstract (summary)

Social networking sites are popular tools to engage citizens in political campaigns, social movements, and civic life. However, are the effects of social media on civic and political participation revolutionary? How do these effects differ across political contexts? Using 133 cross-sectional studies with 631 estimated coefficients, I examine the relationship between social media use and engagement in civic and political life. The effects of social media use on participation are larger for political expression and smaller for informational uses, but the magnitude of these effects depend on political context. The effects of informational uses of social media on participation are smaller in countries, like the United States, with a free and independent press. If there is a social media revolution, it relates to the expression of political views on social networking sites, where the average effect size is comparable the effects of education on participation.

Publication Information

Boulianne, Shelley. 2019. "Revolution in the Making? Social Media Effects Across the Globe." Information, Communication & Society 22(1):39-54. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2017.1353641.


Item Type

Article Post-Print




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