ECIS 2020 Research Papers


The influence of the Internet and social media (SM) on political participation is a pressing theme in current discussions. Across Europe, we witness increasing extreme right-wing populist (ERWP) voting tendencies. Although these actors rely heavily on online media, to date no study has empirically investigated if and how the use of the Internet and in particular SM relates to ERWP voting. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore this link. We tested the relationship with panel data drawn from the German population in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 and studied the connection between their Internet use and Facebook use with the intention to vote for the German party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The findings show a positive association between ERWP voting intention and increased political online discussion especially for Facebook (FB) users. By contrast, there is no link between ERWP voting intention and political online information consumption. This study contributes to a better understanding of the role of the Internet for ERWP voting. We discuss practical and theoretical implications of our findings.



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