Political Communication in the Era of Social Media: The New Frontiers of Disintermediation. A Comparison between Facebook and TikTok

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Authors: Enrica Amaturo, Gabriella Punziano, and Giuseppe Michele Padricelli
Page Range: 403-424
Published in: Current Politics and Economics of Europe, 34#4
ISSN: 1057-2309

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT

For over a decade, social research has been exploring the opportunities provided by the internet for the development of appropriate communication strategies aimed at building political consensus (Bruni, 2016). This follows the revolutions and evolutions of digital innovations that have led to the reconfiguration of traditional modes of information production and distribution in politics and the realization of the so-called permanent election campaign.

This work aims to understand the current configuration of the process of political disintermediation, which involves a direct construction of relationships between politicians and voters without the mediation of third parties.

The research questions driving this work will be developed as follows: How have the ways in which national political actors engage with voters changed in recent years in light of the recent rapid rise of vertical social platforms based on purely audiovisual forms and languages? How do the communication styles adopted by candidates on their respective platforms take shape?

The content analysis focused on the election campaign that led to the formation of the current government aims to bring forth empirical evidence regarding the interpretive patterns of political agendas enabled by social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and to highlight elements of reciprocity or divergence between these platforms.

Keywords: Political communication; Disintermediation; Italian election 2022; Digital scenario; Digital narratives; Social Media; Content analysis

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