To understand the relationship between social media and political participation, the book focuses on politically relevant outcomes of citizens’ use of social media rather than on the technical affordances of digital platforms or the sheer frequency with which people use them. Encountering political content one agrees with, being accidentally exposed to political news, and being targeted by electoral mobilization can all lead citizens to participate more in politics. This is especially the case among citizens who are less interested in politics and less attentive to a general election campaign. Differences in the kinds of voters who may be mobilized by social media may also affect electoral competition. Political institutions can also shape the relationships between political experiences on social media and participation.
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