How individual sensitivities to disagreement shape youth political expression on Facebook

Emily K. Vraga, Kjerstin Thorson, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Emily Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social networking sites like Facebook increasingly shape youth engagement with politics, but less is known about the factors that shape willingness to engage in political interaction on the site. This study combines twenty in-depth interviews with a survey of young adults to examine how individual predispositions, perceptions of the Facebook political climate, and network characteristics shape attitudes and behaviors toward posting political content on Facebook. Our results suggest that predispositions like political interest and conflict avoidance create distinct "sensitivities" to Facebook's political climate and the potential for contentious political disagreement that condition willingness to post about politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume45
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2015

Keywords

  • Conflict avoidance
  • Discussion norms
  • Heterogeneous discussion
  • Political communication
  • Social media

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