The Use and Impact of Social Media during the 2011 Tunisian Revolution
Citizen participation is a key factor in open government and a fundamental form of collective problem solving in democratic societies. Citizens need reliable information to support collective sense making and decision-making. During crises, such as political uprisings, reliable information sources are essential for citizens to stay informed and make sense of rapidly changing developments. In countries that exert control over media, citizens try to access alternative information sources, such as unfiltered Internet and social media. Using two rounds of online surveys with young adults in Tunisia, we examined the use of diverse media during the 2011 revolution. Our survey results show that higher perceptions of information reliability, along with the sharing of online information, lead to greater political information efficacy (PIE). Prior studies show higher PIE associated with greater democratic participation, which bodes well for collaborative decision-making in the nascent democracy in this North African state.
- Date of publication:
- June 8, 2016