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Social Media: An Emerging Tool for Political Participation

Author

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  • Manpreet Kaur

    (Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)

  • Rajesh Verma

    (Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, India)

Abstract

Internet usage has shown drastic growth in the initial half of the year 2015 in India. The user base has increased over 354 million and with this India has become the top second country after China in terms of internet usage. Facebook is the prime social networking site which is used by 96% of urban users, followed by Google Plus (61%), Twitter (43%) and LinkedIn (24%). This extensive use of social media by the public had attracted the attention of the politicians to use it for election campaigns and has given researchers a reason to find out how politicians are engaging the public through this platform. Influence of Social media on the electorate has been proved from its successful use in the US presidential election in 2008 and by political parties in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in India. This paper intends to explore the use of social media and its effectiveness in political elections through an extensive literature review. Social media has become an effective tool for political engagement and political participation as it is a low cost media as compared to traditional media. The low cost of this media has made it one of the main source to get information for advanced analysis and in-depth understanding of the electoral process. This paper will provide an insight to politicians, political analysts, journalists and electoral candidates regarding social media usage. The paper will also present a future research agenda to study how political parties can benefit from use of social media and change their strategies to engage workers and the voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Manpreet Kaur & Rajesh Verma, 2016. "Social Media: An Emerging Tool for Political Participation," International Journal of Social and Organizational Dynamics in IT (IJSODIT), IGI Global, vol. 5(2), pages 31-38, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jsodit:v:5:y:2016:i:2:p:31-38
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