Two Sides of the Coin: Assessing the Influence of Social Network Site Use During the 2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign

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The increasing popularity of social network sites (SNSs) in election campaigns provides a unique climate for scholarly inquiry. The study reported here builds upon Zhang, Johnson, Seltzer, and Bichard and investigates the impact of different types of SNS use on voters' attitudes and behavior during the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign. Sites such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and YouTube are included to offer a robust assessment of distinct relationships. A national online panel of Internet users was utilized to examine reliance on SNSs and the multiple consequences on political attitudes and behavior such as political participation, political interest, selective exposure, selective avoidance, and strength of party affiliation. The findings are evaluated for theoretical and practical implications on democratic governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • SNS
  • democracy
  • political campaigns
  • selective exposure

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