THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: AN ANALYSIS USING SURVEY DATA FROM BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, AND MEXICO
Mendez Cardozo, Stella Yeruti
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Exposure to and engagement with political issues contributes to political participation by building more politically knowledgeable citizens, according to research findings. This study analyzes the relationship between recurrent use of social media as a political information source and different types of political participation. Specifically, this thesis examines the level of participation of individuals who frequently use Facebook and WhatsApp to access political information, compared to those who have an account but never consult this type of information through social media. The analysis focuses on three countries in Latin America: Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. The results of a quantitative analysis using regression models based on the Americas Barometer's 2018/19 survey responses finds that frequent exposure to political content through Facebook and WhatsApp is positively associated with civic engagement, voter turnout, and participation in protests in the three countries studied.