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Online political debate: Motivating factors and impact on political engagement

Abstract

Online political debate is increasing in importance, both as a real world phenomenon and as an object of scientific study. We present a survey study exploring people’s motivations for engaging in online political debate and how such debate may impact their general political engagement. The survey was conducted among 90 participants of an online environment for political debate hosted by one of the main Norwegian political parties. We found four motivational factors with relevance for participation in online political debate: engaging topic, want to contribute, frustration, and reciprocal learning. Sixty-four per cent of the participants answered that the online environment for political debate could make them more politically engaged. These participants reported that such an increase in political engagement could be due to the online environment providing a sense of influence, access to political debate, a means for getting updated, a lowered threshold for participation, motivating local political engagement, and awareness concerning political events.

Category

Academic chapter/article/Conference paper

Client

  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 193090

Language

English

Author(s)

Affiliation

  • SINTEF Digital / Software and Service Innovation

Year

2013

Publisher

Springer

Book

Electronic Participation, 5th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference, ePart 2013, Koblenz, Germany, September 17-19, 2013. Proceedings

Issue

8075

ISBN

978-3-642-40345-3

Page(s)

122 - 133

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