Is Facebook a site of political engagement for young people?

… The Civic Network project systematically compared young people’s use of social media for civic and political engagement in Australia, the USA and UK, using: in-person focus groups with affinity groups of student activists; online surveys of over 3600 young people aged 16-29, using original measures of political participation and social media-based political engagement; followed by 12 online, qualitative discussion forums with over 100 young people from selected survey sub-samples based on level of political engagement and socio-economic background.

Around 90% of young people in our survey sample used Facebook. A majority of them hear about, learn about, and follow links to news stories about politics via Facebook. That Facebook is the first port of call, for a majority of young people, in finding out what is happening in the political world emphasizes its everyday ubiquity. It also highlights the importance of social curators within networks who provide links to news stories and share material posted by others for the majority to read and learn from. CONT.

Ariadne Vromen (U. of Sydney), LSE USAPP