Does Social Media Matter in Developing Democracies? Examining its Impact on Citizen Political Participation and Expression in Uganda

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)33_Other conference paperpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPresented - 19 May 2019

Conference

TitleWAPOR 72nd Annual Conference
PlaceCanada
CityToronto
Period19 - 21 May 2019

Abstract

Using systematically random sampled data from Afro-Barometer’s round 6 surveys in 2015, this study examines the impact of citizens’ use of social media for political participation and expression in developing democracies of Uganda. In examining the relevance of social media platforms in shaping citizens’ political participation and expression, this study based on connectivity theoretical assumptions. Findings from studied N=2400 respondents, evidenced social media does matter in the developing democracy of Uganda as the second most preferred form of media (.95±2.37). Findings also showed the use of social media for political participation in persuading others to vote for a given candidate or party was positively correlated r=.043*(p value at 0.05), n=2400 and p=.035 with R2=.002. In this study, the maximum amount of data for factor analysis was satisfied, with a final sample size of 2400 (using listwise deletion), providing 9 cases of variables. Using factorability criteria of correlation, all political participation and expression variable cases were correlated to social media use. From the eight (8) cases of Discuss politics, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to join any political party, Freedom to choose whom to vote, Attend a campaign rally, Attend a campaign meeting, Persuade others to vote for a given candidate or party and Work for a candidate or party, it was observed that 5 cases of Freedom to join any political party, Freedom to choose whom to vote, Attend a campaign meeting, Persuade others to vote for a given candidate or party and Work for a candidate or party correlated at least over .020. suggesting reasonable factorability. The KMO=.777, was above the commonly recommended value of .6, and Bartlett’s test of sphericity was significant (χ2 (36) = 5499.45, p < .001). Future studies, should examine the use of social media platforms for policy implementation, civic engagement and Inclusiveness

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