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Political Effects of the Internet and Social Media

Author

Listed:
  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Maria Petrova

    (IPEG - Institute for Political Economy and Governance - Institute for Political Economy and Governance, UPF - Universitat Pompeu Fabra [Barcelona], NES - New Economics School - New Economics School)

  • Ruben Enikolopov

    (IPEG - Institute for Political Economy and Governance - Institute for Political Economy and Governance, NES - New Economics School - New Economics School, UPF - Universitat Pompeu Fabra [Barcelona])

Abstract

How do the internet and social media affect political outcomes? We review empirical evidence from the recent political-economy literature, focusing primarily on the work that considers traits that distinguish the internet and social media from traditional offline media, such as low barriers to entry and reliance on user-generated content. We discuss the main results about the effects of the internet, in general, and social media, in particular, on voting, street protests, attitudes toward government, political polarization, xenophobia, and politicians' behavior. We also review evidence on the role of social media in the dissemination of false news, and we summarize results about the strategies employed by autocratic regimes to censor the internet and to use social media for surveillance and propaganda. We conclude by highlighting open questions about how the internet and social media shape politics in democracies and autocracies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya & Maria Petrova & Ruben Enikolopov, 2020. "Political Effects of the Internet and Social Media," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-02491741, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-02491741
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02491741
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