Political behavior in social network sites

Weiwu Zhang, Sherice Gearhart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The increasing popularity of social network sites (SNSs), such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter, in political campaigns and governance, has captivated researchers in the past several years. This entry aims to provide a comprehensive review and synthesis of the burgeoning empirical research literature on political behavior in SNSs by leading researchers from various fields. Research domains under review include how citizens use SNSs for political purposes and the effects of SNSs on political attitudes and behavior such as social capital, civic engagement, and political participation, how candidates and voters utilize SNSs during election campaigns, how governmental institutions employ SNSs, and the potential dark side of SNSs such as selective exposure and political polarization. Finally, future research directions of the field are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Cyber Behavior
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781466603158
StatePublished - 2012


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