Building on studies examining the role of social media in contemporary forms of collective action and social movements, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the link between prior informational use of social media and individualized collective action.
In total, 220 participants were surveyed in real-time during a protest against overpopulation in Singapore.
Social media use was significant in disseminating information about the protest, and reflecting perceived personal relevance for specific issues. The authors found mixed motivations for attending the protest, significantly shaped by social proximity to organizers and personal relevance.
The authors address research gaps in the link between social media use and individualized collective action, and real-time data collection during a protest. It is often difficult to study this link, given that social media may not be always the only platform used prior to a protest by participants. The case discussed here provides a unique opportunity for this to be addressed: the protest was not publicized by local mainstream media prior to the event and social media was the only place for both activists and the public to find and disseminate information about the protest. In other words, how participants used social media had a direct and meaningful impact on their participation in the protest.
Pang, N. and Goh, D.P.C. (2016), "Are we all here for the same purpose? Social media and individualized collective action", Online Information Review, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 544-559. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-10-2015-0337Download as .RIS
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