Ημ/νια δημοσίευσης: Παρασκευή, 07 Μαΐου 2021

Reflections and Distortions - The Electoral Impact of Social Media in Europe

The European Network of Political Foundations and the Centre for International & European Political Economy & Governance (University of the Peloponnese) have just published the book “Reflections and Distortions - The Electoral Impact of Social Media in Europe” by Panagiotis Kakolyris.


The book explores the degree of association between the political parties' number of followers on social media and the number of votes in national elections. It, contains primary research data for the 27 European Union member states and the United Kingdom, covering the period between 2015 and 2020.


Abstract from the book:

We usually evaluate the political role of social media by employing the "logic of the pendulum". Between the two extremes—the absolute deification and deprecation of social media—one can always find the Aristotelian medium. In no way can their power be underestimated, but we must evaluate this power on the right principles. Social media platforms have brought about new challenges, but they have also strengthened democracy. They gave citizens a stronger voice. They unleashed the social dynamics of activism, but also the circulation of information itself. They increased interaction and transparency. They created new prospects and possibilities for the promotion of political ideas, as well as unprecedented opportunities for targeted communication of the political message. They have accelerated political time, but they do not seem to determine the outcome of the democratic process—at least not yet. They do not manage to change the voters' opinion as much as they confirm and strengthen it; hence one of the documented phenomena is that of political polarisation. They often act as a distorting mirror of society and the political process, sometimes leading to erroneous assessments and conclusions about the actual dimensions of social trends and political phenomena.



You can download the book here.