It's Complicated: Facebook Users' Political Participation in the 2008 Election

  title={It's Complicated: Facebook Users' Political Participation in the 2008 Election},
  author={Jessica Vitak and Paul Zube and Andrew D. Smock and Caleb T. Carr and Nicole B. Ellison and Cliff Lampe},
  journal={Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking},
  volume={14 3},
In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, social network sites such as Facebook allowed users to share their political beliefs, support specific candidates, and interact with others on political issues. But do political activities on Facebook affect political participation among young voters, a group traditionally perceived as apathetic in regard to civic engagement? Or do these activities represent another example of feel-good participation that has little real-world impact, a concept often… 

Tables from this paper

Sex and political participation on Facebook

Active political participation from the citizenry is essential for a healthy democracy. However, research finds a significant sex gap in political participation, limiting the influence of a

Influenced by Peers: Facebook as an Information Source for Young People

The study examines the role and impact of Facebook as a central political information source within today’s high-choice information environment among university students. It assumes that the growing

Facebook and political participation: Going beyond over-optimistic predictions

In the last decade there has been a proliferation of academic studies examining the links between social networking websites (SNSs) and citizens’ political participation. Focusing on Facebook and on

The Influence of Social Networking Sites on Political Behavior: Modeling Political Involvement via Online and Offline Activity

Since the Democrats were successful in using social networking sites (SNSs) to mobilize support among voters in the 2008 Presidential election (e.g., Charles, 2012), social networking sites emerged

Facebook Use and Political Participation

Some recent studies have illustrated a positive relationship between social media use and political participation among young people. Researchers, however, have operationalized social media usage

Political Conversations on Facebook: An Exploration of Practices

Facebook increasingly becoming important in our political expression and identities. This study examines the practices of political conversation on Facebook. The goal was to increase understanding of

Profiling Online Political Content Creators: Advancing the Paths to Democracy

The creation of political content was a positive predictor of political participation and civic engagement, even after controlling for demographics, psychological factors, media use and trust, suggesting a positive linkage between the production of online political content and both political and civic participatory practices.

The Impacts of Political Socialization on People’s Online and Offline Political Participation—Taking the Youth of Singapore as an Example

Recent years have seen an increase in political participation among young people worldwide. In light of this heightened political consciousness among youth, the process by which the young might



The Revolution Will be Networked

Social networking is a phenomenon of interest to many scholars. While most of the recent research on social networking sites has focused on user characteristics, very few studies have examined their

Is There Social Capital in a Social Network Site?: Facebook Use and College Students' Life Satisfaction, Trust, and Participation

Positive relationships between intensity of Facebook use and students' life satisfaction, social trust, civic engagement, and political participation are found, suggesting that online social networks are not the most effective solution for youth disengagement from civic duty and democracy.

Political participation in the United States

"Political Participation in the United States" analyzes patterns of political participation by citizens and offers five different explanations for those patterns based on recent research findings.

Unraveling the Effects of the Internet on Political Participation?

While a long tradition of research documents the demographic and psychological determinants of political participation, there is also evidence to suggest that changes in communication technology may

America's Youth and Community Engagement

The authors predict and find that civic activity is positively associated with political awareness and that media use, whether information or entertainment oriented, facilitates civic engagement, whereas news media are especially effective in promoting political awareness.

Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Social Capital

Does Internet use have the potential to build social capital? Emerging evidence suggests that politically knowledgeable, interpersonally trusting, and civically engaged individuals share particular

The Internet and Political Participation

There is a growing literature exploring the role of the Internet in influencing levels and styles of political participation. However, it is not yet clear why the Internet is perceived as a medium

Candidates Make Good Friends: An Analysis of Candidates' Uses of Facebook

Through content analysis of Facebook wall comments in U.S. House and Senate races during the 2006 midterm election, this study describes young potential voters' comments (quantity, valence, etc.)

The Benefits of Facebook "Friends: " Social Capital and College Students' Use of Online Social Network Sites

Facebook usage was found to interact with measures of psychological well-being, suggesting that it might provide greater benefits for users experiencing low self-esteem and low life satisfaction.

Assessing the Potential of Internet Political Participation in the United States

An emerging scholarly consensus asserts that patterns of Internet political participation will merely imitate the established patterns of participatory inequality in the United States. Because those