香港城市大學副教授 Marko Skoric 專題演講
Political Expression, Exposure to Disagreement, and Selective Avoidance on Social Media as Predictors of Citizen Participation in Asia
Does political expression on social media stimulate citizen participation in civic and political affairs? Do social media platforms promote exposure to diverse viewpoints that stimulate engagement with the broader society or do they allow us to create echo chambers which helps us politically engage only with like-minded citizens? Using recent meta-analytic findings and survey data collected in Singapore and Hong Kong, we examine how political expression, exposure to disagreement and attempts to shield oneself from dissenting views relate to both civic and political participation. The findings reiterate the importance of political expression for citizen engagement, and suggest that that offline partisan mobilization and maintenance of high levels of political protest participation depend not only on extensive online political expression, discussion and mobilization, but also in parallel an intensified shielding from dissenting or critical views. In contrast, when it comes to more civically-minded, non-partisan activities, exposure to cross-cutting, dissenting views on social media seems to be beneficial. This indicates that while social media platforms enable citizens to be exposed to diverse views which fosters civic engagement, they also allow citizens to create more homophilic environments when the needs for direct political action arise.