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Brute force effects of mass media presence and social media activity on electoral outcome


Kovic, Marko; Rauchfleisch, Adrian; Metag, Julia; Caspar, Christian; Szenogrady, Julian (2017). Brute force effects of mass media presence and social media activity on electoral outcome. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 14(4):348-371.

Abstract

In this study, we analyze whether the mere volume of presence in mass media and the mere volume of activity on social media convey advantages to candidates in parliamentary elections. Based on the theoretical model of bounded rationality, we call these potential effects brute force effects. During the last month of the election campaign of the Swiss federal election of 2015, we tracked the presence of all 873 candidates in the canton of Zurich, the most populous canton, in a broad sample of mass media. Additionally, we tracked those candidates’ activity on Facebook and Twitter. The results of our multilevel Bayesian estimates show that mass media presence has a consistent nontrivial impact on different aspects of electoral outcome. Furthermore, social media activity also has a nontrivial impact, but only in terms of resonance (reactions to candidates’ social media activity). Overall, our results suggest that brute force effects of of mass media presence and social media activity can have substantial impact on voting behavior.

Abstract

In this study, we analyze whether the mere volume of presence in mass media and the mere volume of activity on social media convey advantages to candidates in parliamentary elections. Based on the theoretical model of bounded rationality, we call these potential effects brute force effects. During the last month of the election campaign of the Swiss federal election of 2015, we tracked the presence of all 873 candidates in the canton of Zurich, the most populous canton, in a broad sample of mass media. Additionally, we tracked those candidates’ activity on Facebook and Twitter. The results of our multilevel Bayesian estimates show that mass media presence has a consistent nontrivial impact on different aspects of electoral outcome. Furthermore, social media activity also has a nontrivial impact, but only in terms of resonance (reactions to candidates’ social media activity). Overall, our results suggest that brute force effects of of mass media presence and social media activity can have substantial impact on voting behavior.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:27 Feb 2018 14:07
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 17:49
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1933-1681
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2017.1374228

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