The good, the bad and the ugly: Three faces of social media usage by local governments

Silva, Patrícia, Tavares, António, Silva, Tiago and Lameiras, Mariana, (2019). The good, the bad and the ugly: Three faces of social media usage by local governments. Government Information Quarterly, 36(3), 469-479

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Silva, Patrícia
    Tavares, António
    Silva, Tiago
    Lameiras, Mariana
    Title The good, the bad and the ugly: Three faces of social media usage by local governments
    Appearing in Government Information Quarterly
    Volume 36
    Issue No. 3
    Publication Date 2019-07
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 469
    End page 479
    Language eng
    Abstract This article explores the determinants of local governments' use of social networking sites. It does so by analysing the relative impact of institutional, political and social determinants, while controlling for the impact of mayors' traits and social characteristics of municipalities on local governments levels of activity on Facebook. Empirically, this article presents a within-case analysis of Portuguese municipalities' activity on social media, aiming to shed light on the strategic use of social media by local governments. A coherent picture associated with politically pro-active local governments emerges from the results: higher levels of social media activity appear in municipalities with more competitive local elections and higher commitment to transparency. Moreover, findings suggest that local governments tend to be concerned with the low levels of voter turnout, potentially resorting to social media as a powerful tool to increase civic engagement and (offline) political participation. Levels of Facebook activity are significantly higher in larger and wealthier municipalities. The results indicate that Facebook official pages of municipalities are part of a larger arsenal of tools to promote political engagement and activity levels signal a propensity to involve citizens pro-actively.
    Copyright Holder Elsevier
    Copyright Year 2019
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 0740624X
    DOI 10.1016/j.giq.2019.05.006
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    Created: Sat, 29 Feb 2020, 02:24:42 JST by Mario Peixoto on behalf of UNU EGOV