- Will politics be tweeted? New media use by Iranian youth in 2011
- New Media & Society
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The uprisings after the 2009 elections in Iran generated debate on new media’s potential to affect dissent in authoritarian countries. We surveyed 2800 young, educated, metropolitan, and technologically savvy Iranians over a year after the election and during the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to examine what sources these youth use for information, the extent to which they rely on new media for political exchanges, their experiences with online censorship, and political efficacy as related to new media. Although the Internet was stated as the most important news outlet, state-controlled television was often used, and Twitter was the least prevalent new media platform. Personal issues and IT/science were more often discussed via new media than politics. Further, it was using new media, not talking politics online, that predicted the frequency with which respondents encountered blocked websites online and also perceptions of their ownpolitical efficacy. Although our findings may support voices that are skeptical about technology’s ability to sustain revolution, we also identify what can be described as hubs of politicized Iranian youth.
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