Acta Universitatis Danubius. Relationes Internationales, Vol 11, No 1 (2018)

Online Social Networks and Parliamentary Elections. An International Comparison

Andra Androniciuc, Felipe Ruiz Moreno

Abstract


More and more researchers focus on the role of social networks in election campaigns. This article represents a case study of the parliamentary elections from 2015 in Spain and 2016 in Romania, with the aim of comparing the two online political campaigns. We describe how both parties in Romania and Spain used Facebook during the last parliamentary elections, in order to see how the political parties communicate and the online reactions generated by their messages. With the help of content and statistical analysis we take a closer look the messages published in the Facebook profiles of candidates and political parties during the general elections. The results indicate that, during parliamentary elections, unlike the presidential ones, the voters' attention is not directed to a candidate, but to a group of candidates. As a result, the communication strategy is different, focusing on increasing the notoriety of the candidates. The low interest in parties and parliamentary elections leads to using social networks mainly for disseminating information about the candidates and less as tool for mobilizing voters

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