Slowly approaching the second quarter of the 21st century, research on social media and its effects over democracy has quickly permeated across various fields in social sciences, particularly political communication. Based on accumulated evidence in this strand of literature, this paper briefly summarizes several established research areas. First, it highlights how social media facilitates individuals’ political expression. Second, it sheds light on how this enhanced communicative behavior has reinvigorated a more participatory society in democracy. Third, it examines social media’s democratic deficit mechanisms in regards to stagnant political knowledge acquisition. Finally, the paper offers a theoretical explanation to this lack of knowledge acquisition through the lenses of the ‘news-finds-me’ perception theory. Overall, the present manuscript explains specific ways in which social media helps and hinders the advancement of healthy democracies, thereby also providing promising guidelines for future research. 

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Published on 04/12/18
Accepted on 04/12/18
Submitted on 04/12/18

Volume 27, Issue 6, 2018
DOI: 10.3145/epi.2018.nov.01
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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