To read this content please select one of the options below:

What publics do online matters: Internet use and political information behaviors

Jarim Kim (Department of Communication, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Yesolran Kim (School of Communication, Kookmin University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 22 October 2021

Issue publication date: 16 August 2022




This study aimed to examine the relationships between different uses of Internet modes and political participation, focusing on political information behaviors, including political information seeking and forwarding.


This study used secondary data from the 2016 Korea Media Panel Survey conducted with 8,439 Korean adults.


The results indicated that political participation is generally associated with the use of online news forums, online communities, online services and online information production, but not with the use of social networking sites (SNSs). Additional analyses revealed that the use of different Internet modes has an indirect effect on voting intention through political information seeking. The analysis also showed that a number of sociodemographic characteristics influence political participation.


As one of the first studies to focus on active information behaviors in examining the influence of Internet use, this study enhances the understanding of how human behaviors are shaped by digital technology. By providing guidelines for the use of different modes of the Internet, the findings of this study also have practical implications for efforts to encourage political participation.



This work was supported by the Yonsei University Research Grant of 2021 (#2021-22-0225).


Kim, J. and Kim, Y. (2022), "What publics do online matters: Internet use and political information behaviors", Online Information Review, Vol. 46 No. 5, pp. 867-885.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles