Artigos do Journal of Communication sobre internet e democracia

Porbarbara_montibeller- Postado em 08 maio 2012

Framing the Egyptian Uprising in Arabic Language Newspapers and Social Media



by Ehab H. Gomaa

This study examines the framing of Egypt's January 2011 uprising in the country's state-run, independent and social media using a unique dataset of Arabic language content from newspapers and key social media posts collected during the peak of protests. Semiofficial (governmental) newspapers framed the event as “a conspiracy on the Egyptian state,” warning of economic consequence and attributing blame and responsibility for the chaos on others. Social media posts used a human interest frame defining protests as “a revolution for freedom and social justice” and independent newspapers used a combination of these frames. Findings point toward the potential roles that news media will play in shaping public opinion and demonstrate why social media have wide appeal in times of political crisis.


Social Media and the Activist Toolkit: User Agreements, Corporate Interests, and the Information Infrastructure of Modern Social Movements



by Jillian C. York

The uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere have been credited in part to the creative use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Yet the information policies of the firms behind social media can inhibit activists and empower authoritarian regimes. Analysis of Facebook's response to Egypt's “We Are All Khaled Said” group, YouTube's policy exemption for videos coming from Syria, Moroccan loyalist response to the online presence of atheists, and the activities of the Syrian Electronic Army illustrate how prohibitions on anonymity, community policing practices, campaigns from regime loyalists, and counterinsurgency tactics work against democracy advocates. These problems arise from the design and governance challenges facing large-scale, revenue-seeking social media enterprises.


A Field Experiment on the Internet's Effect in an African Election: Savvier Citizens, Disaffected Voters, or Both?



by Catie Snow Bailard

This study contributes to the research on the Internet's effect on political behavior and organization by examining how the Internet influences the types of evaluations that may motivate individuals to organize politically. This study employs a randomized field experiment to determine whether the Internet influenced individuals' perception of the fairness of the 2010 Tanzanian presidential election. It provides a direct causal test of the Internet's effect on political evaluations, and the findings reveal that the Internet negatively influenced individuals' perception of the fairness of the election and recount. However, the findings also reveal that the impact of the Internet on political life may not always enrich democratic values. In this case, more critical Internet users also became less likely to vote.


Internet Use and Democratic Demands: A Multinational, Multilevel Model of Internet Use and Citizen Attitudes About Democracy



by Katy E. Pearce

The success of a democracy depends, in part, on public demand for democratic institutions. How does Internet use shape citizens' preferences for regime type? Combining individual public opinion data from Africa and Asia with country-level indices, we test a multilevel model examining the relationship between Internet penetration, individual Internet use, and citizen demand for democracy across 28 countries. We find that Internet use, but not national Internet penetration, is associated with greater citizen commitment to democratic governance. Furthermore, greater democratization and Internet penetration moderates the relationship between Internet use and demand for democracy.


Networked Authoritarianism and Social Media in Azerbaijan



by Sarah Kendzior

The diffusion of digital media does not always have democratic consequences. This mixed-methods study examines how the government of Azerbaijan dissuaded Internet users from political activism. We examine how digital media were used for networked authoritarianism, a form of Internet control common in former Soviet states where manipulation over digitally mediated social networks is used more than outright censorship. Through a content analysis of 3 years of Azerbaijani media, a 2-year structural equation model of the relationship between Internet use and attitudes toward protest, and interviews with Azerbaijani online activists, we find that the government has successfully dissuaded frequent Internet users from supporting protest and average Internet users from using social media for political purposes.


Mean on the Screen: Social Aggression in Programs Popular With Children



by Barbara J. Wilson

A content analysis was conducted to examine the portrayal of social aggression in the 50 most popular television programs among 2- to 11-year-old children. Results revealed that 92% of the programs in the sample contained some social aggression. On average, there were 14 different incidents of social aggression per hour in these shows, or one every 4 minutes. Compared to the portrayals of physical aggression, social aggression was more likely to be enacted by an attractive perpetrator, to be featured in a humorous context, and neither rewarded or punished. In these ways, social aggression on television poses more of a risk for imitation and learning than do portrayals of physical aggression. Findings are discussed in terms of social cognitive theory.


Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations From Tahrir Square



by Christopher Wilson

Based on a survey of participants in Egypt's Tahrir Square protests, we demonstrate that social media in general, and Facebook in particular, provided new sources of information the regime could not easily control and were crucial in shaping how citizens made individual decisions about participating in protests, the logistics of protest, and the likelihood of success. We demonstrate that people learned about the protests primarily through interpersonal communication using Facebook, phone contact, or face-to-face conversation. Controlling for other factors, social media use greatly increased the odds that a respondent attended protests on the first day. Half of those surveyed produced and disseminated visuals from the demonstrations, mainly through Facebook.


The Social Media Basis of Youth Protest Behavior: The Case of Chile



by Andrés Scherman

Protest activity has become a central means for political change in Chile. We examine the association between social media use and youth protest, as well as mediating and moderating mechanisms of this relationship, using survey data collected in Chile in 2010. We found that Facebook use was associated significantly with protest activity, even after taking into account political grievances, material and psychological resources, values, and news media use. The link between overall Facebook use and protest activity was explained by using the social network for news and socializing rather than when it was used for self-expression. Postmaterialist values and political ideologies were not found to moderate the association between Facebook use and protest.


Safety Valve or Pressure Cooker? Blogs in Chinese Political Life



by Jonathan Hassid

Despite censorship, Chinese bloggers routinely uncover corruption, help solve social problems, and even pressure state officials to change policy. The power of online opinion is undisputed in individual cases, but the overall effect of blog discourse on Chinese political life is unclear. Do blogs relieve pressure for political change by allowing troublemakers to vent frustrations in a marginal medium, or are they integrated with the larger system of political communication in China, inspiring political activism and building communities of like-minded activists? Using large-scale content analysis and specific case studies, I argue that blogs serve as a “safety valve” on issues where the mainstream media set the agenda, and a “pressure cooker” on issues where bloggers get ahead of journalists.