Trusting the untrustable: The construction of politicians’ self-image on Facebook

Tamar Ashuri, Nathan Stolero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Informed by the signaling theory, we argue that the use of social media by both politicians and potential voters may mitigate the information asymmetry between them. A politician normally strives to construct an idealized image of herself, and is therefore eager to convey to the public reliable information regarding her unobservable personal qualities that are conducive to this purpose. Voters, for their part, are interested in obtaining information about candidates’ qualities to make their voting decisions. Based on semi-structured interviews with 12 Israeli female politicians and a qualitative analysis of their posts on Facebook, we identify the tactics participants use to publicize their salient qualities. The signaling model for SNS political communication developed for the analysis here could be used to study information asymmetry in online interactions in other social settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Candidate image
  • Facebook
  • SMS
  • credibility
  • information asymmetry
  • signaling theory

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