Macquarie University
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Social media politics: the use of Facebook and the 2012 Taiwan presidential election

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posted on 2022-03-28, 14:56 authored by Chia-Shin Lin
"The use of social media as an election campaign tool has developed dramatically in recent years. In Taiwan, the use of Facebook has also begun to play a significant role in political communication. This study explores the use of Facebook as an election campaign tool in Taiwan's 2012 presidential election, and candidates' perceptions of its role. Previous researchers have given much attention to the audience due to the characteristics of Web 2.0 but the roles of candidates and the development of strategies were rarely discussed. This project is the first study that seeks to uncover the compromises candidates make in order to maximise the political benefits of social media in Taiwan. The project draws on the methodological orientation of framing theory and employs in-depth interviews and content analysis to examine the phenomenon of framing. The results show that the main activity candidates adopt on Facebook is self-disclosure. This is similar to normal users but with a highly strategic intention. Habermasian communicative action theory is modified to examine candidates' self-disclosure. The Shifting Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) model and the Strategic Network Campaigning (SNC) model have been developed during the process of investigation. The candidates' images on their Facebook pages require various techniques and resources to cultivate and the Shifting IMC model serves this need. The adoption of the SNC approach results in candidates (or 'brands') employing surrogates (or 'sub-brands'), to interact with netizens in order to develop a sense among netizens that they have become friends with candidates. The Shifting IMC model reveals that candidates continue to resort to top-down thinking in order to control the use of Facebook; the SNC model demonstrates how candidates compromise their control with bottom-up power. This project also identifies the position of Facebook in the democratic spectrum in the Taiwan presidential election. The new models and thinking developed in this project offer an alternative perspective for research on social media. The results contribute to the understanding of the use of Web 2.0 technologies in political communication, especially the networked characteristics of Facebook in the election campaigns. -- Abstract.


Table of Contents

ch. 1 Introduction -- ch. 2 The entry of new media with Taiwanese election campaigns -- ch. 3 Social media, political and communication values -- ch. 4 Methodology -- ch. 5 Results / findings -- ch. 6 Discussion -- ch. 7 Conclusions and recommendations for further research.


"This thesis is presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University, Sydney". Includes bibliographical references (pages 313-327) "January 2013".

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Naren Chitty

Additional Supervisor 1

Usha Harris


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Chia-Shin Lin 2013






1 online resource (xii, 333 pages) illustrations (some coloured)

Former Identifiers

mq:33452 2128236