Normalizing or Equalizing? Characterizing Facebook Campaigning

New Media & Society (September 16, 2016), 1-20

27 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2016

See all articles by Azi Lev-On

Azi Lev-On

Ariel University

Sharon Haleva-Amir

Bar Ilan University, School of Communication

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

The article analyzes whether Facebook campaigning is consistent with the normalization or equalization hypothesis, drawing on data from the election campaigns to the 20th Israeli Parliament in 2015. We looked at six indicators of Facebook activity (number of fans, number of posts and scope of engagement [likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement]) of all parties running for the Knesset as well as candidates with realistic electability rankings. We found that a comparison between dominant and peripheral parties across all indicators is consistent with the normalization hypothesis, but when it is framed in terms of expectations and is forward-looking rather than backward-looking. i.e. the difference in Facebook performance is between parties that expect to gain a significant number of seats in the parliament, and those that do not anticipate significant parliamentary achievements.

Keywords: Campaigning, Social Media, Equalization, Facebook

Suggested Citation

Lev-On, Azi and Haleva-Amir, Sharon, Normalizing or Equalizing? Characterizing Facebook Campaigning (2016). New Media & Society (September 16, 2016), 1-20 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2851751

Azi Lev-On (Contact Author)

Ariel University ( email )

Ariel, 40700
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.azilevon.com

Sharon Haleva-Amir

Bar Ilan University, School of Communication ( email )

Ramat Gan
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://communication.biu.ac.il/

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