Facebook can steer young minds into politics

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Sydney, Sep 28: The Social networking site Facebook can encourage more young people to get engaged in politics, a new research shows.

"We need to take Facebook much more seriously as a space where young people - purposefully or incidentally - engage with politics, with their networks of friends and family," said Ariadne Vromen, associate professor from University of Sydney.

The survey of 3,600 young people in the age group 16-29 across Australia, the UK and the US revealed that they first hear about news and major events on Facebook rather than print and TV programmes.

Researchers found that increasing use of social media leads to more political participation by young people.

"Especially for those young people that have an issue-based approach to why political participation matters, rather than a traditional orientation that only focuses on formal, electoral politics," Vromen added.

Pressing the "like" button is the key to show support for political issues, many participants responded, adding that they avoid commenting because they do not want to irk family members or friends on social media.

Most of the young people said they think politicians should use social media more.

"They think politicians should be asked questions publicly more often to show they are responsive to people's views," Vromen noted.

The study was part of The Civic Network, a two-year research project funded by the Spencer Foundation based in America.

IANS

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