Politics and young adults: The effects of facebook on candidate evaluation

Sara Douglas, Misa Maruyama, Bryan Semaan, Scott P. Robertson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


An increasing number of people are turning to social media to find political information and discuss politics, including the technologically savvy Millennial generation. Our study looks at how young voters use social media to evaluate political candidates. Subjects were shown the Facebook walls of two U.S. politicians running for the seat of governor in the 2011 Mississippi election. Exposure was followed by semi-structured interviews to discover what knowledge they found salient. Content analysis found evidence that the knowledge they gained from Facebook influenced their evaluation of the candidates. Further, we contrast this to a control group that was exposed to related news articles without a social media component. We found that social media produced the additional voting criterion of community, which extends beyond the traditional criteria in political science literature of issues and character. Community interaction influences the vote decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationdg.o 2014 - Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research - Open Innovations and Sustainable Development in Government
Subtitle of host publicationExperiences from Around the World
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781450329019
StatePublished - 2014
Event15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, dg.o 2014 - Aguascalientes, Mexico
Duration: Jun 18 2014Jun 21 2014

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other15th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, dg.o 2014


  • Digital democracy
  • E-citizenship
  • E-participation
  • Social media
  • Social networking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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