Facebook Campaigning: Candidates' Perspectives

Azi Lev-On

Abstract


The study presents findings from 67 semi-structured interviews with candidates running for heads of municipalities about their views on Facebook use, the advantages and drawbacks of political activity on Facebook, and the perceived impact of Facebook activity on election results. Findings indicate that candidates do not perceive a significant electoral advantage to using Facebook, yet they are convinced that presence on Facebook is obligatory, and absence from this arena would have a negative impact on their election prospects. Candidates are conscious of the problematic aspects of Facebook use; they are apprehensive specifically about potential criticism and attacks, and are hesitant to participate in dialog. On the other hand, especially in large cities, candidates acknowledge Facebook’s instrumental role in exposing candidates and disseminating messages, and are aware of the significance of responding to audience comments.


Keywords


social media; campaigning; municipal

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References


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