Socially mediated issue ownership
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCommunications. 2021. 10.1515/commun-2020-0020
Given the growing importance of issue competition and the growing use of social media during elections, this study seeks to create a better understanding of how issue dynamics relating to political parties play out on social media. It tests whether issue ownership theory can explain how parties and issues are being discussed on Twitter and to what extent a mediated form of issue ownership aligns with citizens’ perceptions of issue ownership. The results indicate that perceptions of issue ownership as measured in representative surveys correlate with variations of what issues parties are linked with on Twitter. Some deviations also emerged, which possibly reflect short-term changes in parties’ issue competition. Understanding how issue ownership mediates through social media platforms is important in order to evaluate the role of social media in contemporary opinion forming processes and sheds light on the issue competition among political parties in online fora.