This study investigated how use of social media is associated with political participation by focusing on the effects of network heterogeneity and news use on social media. Specifically, we introduce the concept of news sharing as a potential determinant of participation. Our study found the presence of two sub-dimensions of news sharing: news externalizing (e.g., news posting) and news internalizing (e.g., news seeking). Both dimensions were found to have a distinct pathway to participation, with news externalizing affecting participation directly and news internalizing affecting participation indirectly through news externalizing. Additionally, our data revealed the moderating effects of news sharing, which indicates that heterogeneous online social networks may boost citizens’ participation when users are active in sharing news with others.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Network heterogeneity
- News sharing
- Political participation
- Social media