Electoral Politics on Social Media

The Israeli Case

Authored by: Sharon Haleva-Amir , Karine Nahon

The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138860766
eBook ISBN: 9781315716299
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506560


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The elections to the 19th Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) were held on 23 January 2013. During the electoral campaign, which began in October 2012, social media and other IT platforms were buzzing with political activity by formal and informal groups, candidates, parties, supporters, and members of the general public. In this chapter, we report and analyse the daily Web and social media use patterns of political actors. Seven main themes arose from our findings: (1) predominantly personal politics; (2) prominence of anonymous and negative campaigning; (3) focus on one platform; (4) symbiotic relationship with traditional media; (5) increased use of custom-made technology; (6) high level of civic engagement; and (7) extensive use of memes and satire. A comparative literature analysis shows that some of these themes are consistent with other global political campaigns. Finally, we discuss the reasons for these behavioural practices.

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