Plurk politics—Micro-blogging is changing political communication in Taiwan

Luc Chia-Shin Lin, Naren Chitty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The use of social media in political communication has demonstrated its significance by the example of Arab Spring and the 2008 US presidential election, but its role in non-western democratic countries like Taiwan has rarely been examined. Micro-blogs share some characteristics with other types of social media but operate in a lighter way that has made it more and more popular among Internet users. Most researchers focus on the better-known Twitter, however, Plurk has found a niche and becomes the leading type of micro-blog in Taiwan and many politicians enjoy using it for political communication. This study seeks to answer the question “What patterns do Taiwanese politicians exhibit when utilizing Plurk?”. By combining Habermasian communicative action theory and Foot and Schneider’s Web Sphere, this research attempts to form a theoretical framework for micro-blogs. In-depth interviews were conducted with Taiwanese politicians at various levels and it was discovered that the broad pattern of political communication via Plurk may be characterised in Habermasian terms as strategic, through information broadcasting, public opinion formation, and political mobilization. In addition, this research shows that Taiwanese politicians use Plurk to gather information and ideas in exchanges which have dialogic elements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-579
Number of pages15
JournalJournalism and mass communication
Volume2
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • web2.0
  • political communication
  • dialogic communication
  • strategic communication
  • Plurk
  • micro-blogging

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