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Title: Political talk on mobile instant messaging services: a comparative analysis of Germany, Italy, and the UK
Authors: Valeriani, Augusto
Vaccari, Cristian
Keywords: Mobile instant messaging services
Social media
Political discussion
Comparative research
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Taylor & Francis
Citation: VALERIANI, A. and VACCARI, C., 2017. Political talk on mobile instant messaging services: a comparative analysis of Germany, Italy, and the UK. Information, Communication and Society, doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1350730.
Abstract: Mobile instant messaging services (MIMS) are emerging as important digital environments in citizens’ everyday lives. We explore the use of MIMS for talking about politics with unique survey data on samples representative of Internet users in Germany, Italy, and the UK. First, we show that robust percentages of our respondents who use MIMS employ them for posting political messages and discussing politics. Second, we demonstrate that political talk on MIMS is positively associated with users’ tendency to censor themselves politically on social networking sites (SNS) and, to a lesser extent, with ideological extremism. Third, we find that the association between self-censorship on SNS and the likelihood of publishing political contents on MIMS is stronger for individuals living in former East Germany where, due to historical reasons, large segments of the population are reluctant to talk about politics in public. Our findings suggest that MIMS make a distinctive contribution to contemporary repertoires of political talk, with important implications for the quality and inclusiveness of interpersonal political discussion.
Description: This paper is closed access until 7th February 2019.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1350730
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/28251
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1350730
ISSN: 1369-118X
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Social Sciences)

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