Social Media in Election Campaigns: The Case of the 2013 Presidential Elections in Cyprus

D. Ktoridou, E. Epaminonda, Andreas Charalambous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) are today a regular form of communication used widely by individuals and organizations. More recently, social media are also used by political parties to communicate with voters. As a result, political parties engage in a new kind of conversation with voters, transforming campaigning into something more dynamic compared to what it was in the past. This engagement however varies by society. In some cases political parties simply send messages to voters while in others communication is more active. The current study provides evidence on the extent to which political parties and candidates adopted and used social media tools as part of their campaign in the 2013 presidential elections in Cyprus. Interviews with social media officers of five political parties were conducted with the aim of uncovering the frequency and type of social medial usage in the elections. Results reveal that social media were primarily used for one-way communication rather than being a means of discussion and interaction between politicians and voters. Most candidates used social media merely for dissemination of news, images, political messages, and upcoming events. However, all parties recognized that the role of social media in presidential elections could be enhanced to allow more interaction between candidates and voters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

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