Perceptions of Social Media: A Joint Arena for Voters and Politicians?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNordicom Review. 2015, 36 (2), 65-78. 10.1515/nor-2015-0017
While observers have focused on the political use of social media when exploring their democratic potential, we know little about users’ perceptions of these media. These perceptions could well be important to understanding the political use of social media. In exploring users’ perceptions, the article asks whether politicians and voters view social media in a similar way, and to what extent they consider social media to be an apt arena for political communication. Within a Norwegian context, which may prove useful as a critical case, and using the technological frames model, we find that although voters’ and politicians’ opinions are not that dissimilar overall, politicians are more likely to recognize the political communicative role of social media. However, social media do indeed have the potential to become arenas for political mobilization among groups that traditionally are less visible in political arenas. Keywords: political communication, social media, perceptions, voters, politicians, Norway