Members of European Parliament (MEPs) on Social Media: Understanding the Underlying Mechanisms of Social Media Adoption and Popularity
The present study examines the usage of social media (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of the 8th and 7th legislative term. Specifically, it examines the differences in social media usage between MEPs of the current legislature (2014–2019) and MEPs of the preceding period (2009–2014). Moreover, it tests the impact of several predictors on MEPs’ social media adoption and popularity, as measured by the number of social media supporters. Differences in social media usage of MEPs were found to be explained by variables such as parliamentarians’ gender, Euro-party affiliation, and country of origin. Further, the results suggest that the social media popularity of MEPs can be predicted by the European region from which political actors originate, the ideology of their Euro-party affiliation, and the type of committee to which MEPs are assigned. In addition, the study sheds light on how the two platforms (Facebook and Twitter) differ in regard to the factors that impact MEPs’ social media popularity.
KeywordsSocial media MEPs European standing committees Social media popularity
The authors would like to thank Dr. Yannacopoulou Anastasia for her constructive comments in the revised version of the manuscript.
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