Social Media and Democracy: How Do Facebook Videos Affect Individuals' Political Values?

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anna Shuford Phillips (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: One of the greatest innovations in the 21st century is the high level of accessibility to information via forms of media such as Facebook, Twitter, and online news services. In this scholarly article, the intent is to examine how the videos individuals view on Facebook affect their opinions on current issues. With the emergence of social media as a distinctive news source, sharing information on sites like Facebook has become one of the main methods used by political organizations to educate the masses on their stance. The purpose of this research study is to observe correlations between the sharing of videos on Facebook and those videos’ ability to sway the views of participants. Methodology used will be based on a survey conducted after participants view selected videos. A posttest only questionnaire will be distributed to Facebook users through the website. Participants are split into three groups: a control group, and two groups that each viewed a short video about a current issue. The videos selected are chosen from the most popular posts on Facebook. After viewing the videos, participants from groups 1 and 2 each filled out the same survey as the control group. Once the data is collected, independent variables such as age and education will be used to determine whether viewing the videos was associated with a difference in participants’ opinions or reinforced opinions they already held. I expect to find that opinions of participants who watch the videos will tend to be more message consistent with the video viewed than the opinions of participants who did not view it. This research increases our understanding of how social media can be used as a platform for political groups to gain support of their positions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Facebook, Democracy, Social Media

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