Facebook Dispute Concerning the Presidency
Facebook has proved to be an efficient means of political communication between citizens and politicians. On this virtual stage, political actors display their competence, consolidate their fame, mobilize their volunteers and attack their political opponents, encourage donations and debate some sensitive issues of the society. Citizens have the chance to get informed, to organize and to mobilize themselves for different causes or candidates, to participate in different events or elections campaigns. Our study will analyze the use of Facebook during the campaign for the impeachment referendum (July 29, 2012). The analysis will focus on the posts made both by the pro-Băsescu citizens and by those that are against him. The research questions addressed will focus on: (a) the types of information posted by both opposite groups; (b) the degree in which the Facebook accounts are used for acclaims, attacks, or defenses; (c) the time span during the campaign in which” the dialogue” between the two groups gets more intense; (d) the degree of interactivity between those who post the information and their” friends”. The research methods are functional analysis and content analysis. The two opposing groups sent their messages by the use of photographic images, verbal texts and advertising images. They used more attacks than acclaims, and had an intense activity during the middle and the end of the campaign. Their Facebook pages were interactive allowing the posting of appreciations, comments and the distribution of the materials posted.
KeywordsPolitical communication Social media Referendum 2012 Traian Băsescu
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