Facebook, Twitter, and youth engagement: A quasi-experimental study of social media use and protest behavior using propensity score matching

Sebastián Valenzuela, Arturo Arriagada, Andrés Scherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines changes in the association between social media use and protest behavior in the context of growing social unrest among the younger population. Using propensity score matching, it analyzes data from a repeated cross-sectional survey taken before, during, and after the 2011 student demonstrations in Chile. The results indicate that both Facebook and Twitter have significant effects on the likelihood of protesting, although these effects vary across time and platforms. These differences are explained in terms of the protest cycle and the strong-tie versus weak-tie network structures that characterize Facebook and Twitter, respectively. Furthermore, the findings highlight the value of studying the time dynamics of the social media-protest relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2046-2070
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Communication Networks and Information Security
Volume8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Matching
  • Political participation
  • Protest behavior
  • Social media
  • Social movements
  • Social ties

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