Publication details

Czech politicians go online: Adoption of social network sites and motivations for their use by political actors in the Czech Republic



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description Recently, a growing body of research has been exploring the ways which political actors utilize social network sites (SNS) for campaign communication and voters’ mobilization. However, most studies in this rapidly expanding area focus on the mere adoption, by mapping out politicians’ presence or absence on SNSs, without further examining their individual communication strategies and approaches to the use of these new technologies. In this paper, we aim to fill this research gap by presenting a systematic empirical study of the use of SNSs by parliamentary politicians in the Czech Republic. Adopting a mix-method, multi-level approach, we first analyse the adoption of Facebook as mobilization tool by 13 most relevant political parties as well as 200 individual MPs in the context of the 2013 Parliamentary Elections campaign, looking mainly at intensity of use, level of interactions and basic characteristics distinguishing the SNS users and non-users among politicians. In the qualitative part of the study we investigate, by means of semi-structured interviews, the perception of these technologies by the MPs and their motivations to turn to them, as well as particular strategies of the use of social media in the campaign and non-campaign period. Our data suggest that on the one hand, parliamentarians perceive SNSs as important tools, however at the same time the interviews indicate politicians’ distrust and inability to use this media in interaction with citizens efficiently.
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