Mahmoudreza Rahbarqazi e-mail(Login required) , Sousan Nourbakhsh e-mail(Login required)

Main Article Content


Mahmoudreza Rahbarqazi e-mail(Login required)
Sousan Nourbakhsh e-mail(Login required)



The present age is called the age of communication. Undoubtedly, in all matters of the world, the most incredible information is on the shoulders of the mass media. Today, the media have influenced the identity of contemporary man by expanding geographical, cultural and political boundaries so that the identity of modern man can be called media identity. The increasing role of new means of mass communication in various parts of human life has led to multiple fields. One area that social media have influenced in the present age is political participation. The present paper sought to test the effect of social media on the Iranian citizens’ willingness to electoral participation political actions using the World Values Survey (WVS) wave 7 data release (49 countries/territories). The results show that social media indirectly, through the mediator variable of political trust, reduces the willingness of individuals to participate in elections. Moreover, the results show that social media, both directly and indirectly, increases citizens’ willingness to engage in political protests.


Social media, electoral participation, political action, Iran


Baek, Y. M. (2015). Political Mobilization Through Social Network Sites: The Mobilizing Power of Political Messages Received from SNS Friends. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 12-19.

Barnes, S. H. & Kaase, M. (1979). Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies. Beverly Hills: Sage.

Castells, M. (2015). Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. New York : John Wiley & Sons.

Ceron, A. (2015). Internet, News, and Political Trust: The Difference Between Social Media and Online Media Outlets. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 20(5), 487-503.

Chen, C., Bai, Y. & Wang, R. (2019). Online Political Efficacy and Political Participation: A Mediation Analysis Based on the Evidence from Taiwan. New Media & Society, 21(8), 1667-1696.

Christensen, H. S. & Bengtsson, A. (2012). The Political Competence of Internet Participants: Evidence from Finland. In B. D. Loader & D. Marcea (Eds.), Social Media and Democracy: Innovations in Participatory Politics (pp. 131–149). London: Routledge.

Ekström, M. & Östman, J. (2015). Information, Interaction, and Creative Production: The Effects of Three Forms of Internet Use on Youth Democratic Engagement. Communication Research, 42(6), 796-818.

Fletcher, R. & Nielsen, R. K. (2018). Are People Incidentally Exposed to News on Social Media? A Comparative Analysis. New Media & Society, 20(7), 2450-2468.

Haerpfer, C., Inglehart, R., Moreno, A., Welzel, C., Kizilova, K., Díez-Medrano, J., ... & Puranen, B. (2020). World values survey: round seven–country-pooled datafile. Madrid/Vienna: JD Systems Institute/WVSA Secretariat. Retrieved from

Hetherington, M. J. & Rudolph, T. J. (2008). Priming, Performance, and the Dynamics of Political Trust. The Journal of Politics, 70(2), 498-512.

Howard, P. N. & Hussain, M. M. (2011). The Upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia: The Role of Digital Media. Journal of democracy, 22(3), 35-48.

Im, T., Cho, W., Porumbescu, G. & Park, J. (2014). Internet, Trust in Government, and Citizen Compliance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 24(3), 741-763.

Klein, E. & Robison, J. (2020). Like, Post, and Distrust? How Social Media Use Affects Trust in Government. Political Communication, 37(1), 46-64.

Lee, L. F. L., Chen, H-T. & Chan, M. (2017). Social Media Use and University Students’ Participation in a Large-Scale Protest Campaign: The Case of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement. Telematics and Informatics, 34(2), 457-469.

Lee, P. S. N., So, C. Y. K. & Leung, L. (2015). Social Media and Umbrella Movement: Insurgent Public Sphere in Formation. Chinese Journal of Communication, 8(4), 356-375.

Lelkes, Y. & Westwood, S. J. (2017). The Limits of Partisan Prejudice. The Journal of Politics, 79(2), 485-501.

Lu, H., Tong, P. & Zhu, R. (2019). Does Internet Use Affect Netizens’ Trust in Government? Empirical Evidence from China. Social Indicators Research, 1-19.

Lu, J., Qi, L. & Yu, X. (2019). Political Trust in the Internet Context: A Comparative Study in 36 Countries. Government Information Quarterly, 36(4), 101386.

Luhmann, N. (1979). Trust and Power. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

McGarty, C., Thomas, E. F., Lala, G., Smith, L. G. E. & Bliuc, A-M. (2014). New Technologies, New Identities, and the Growth of Mass Opposition in the Arab Spring. Political Psychology, 35(6), 725-740. Retrieved from

Memoli, V. (2020). The Effect of the Media in Times of Political Distrust: The Case of European Countries. Italian Journal of Electoral Studies QOE-IJES, 83(1), 59-72.

Mishler, W. & Rose, R. (2005). What Are the Political Consequences of Trust? A Test of Cultural and Institutional Theories in Russia. Comparative Political Studies, 38(9), 1050-1078.

Norris, P. (2002). Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Norris, P. (2000). A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Qutieshat, R. (2017). Using Social Hub Media to Expand Public Participation in Municipal Urban Plans. Procedia Engineering, 198, 34-42.

Robinson, M. J. (1976). Public Affairs Television and the Growth of Political Malaise: The Case of The Selling of the Pentagon. The American Political Science Review, 70(2), 409-432.

Sadiku, M. N. O., Omotoso, A. A. & Musa, S. M. (2019). Social Networking. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development (IJTSRD), 3(3), 456–6470.

Safranek, R. (2012). The Emerging Role of Social Media in Political and Regime Change. Michigan: ProQuest Discovery Guides.

Schuck, A. R. T. (2017). Media Malaise and Political Cynicism. The international encyclopedia of media effects, 1-19.

Shah, D. V., Nojin, K. & Holbert, R. L. (2001). “Connecting” and” Disconnecting” with Civic Life: Patterns of Internet Use and the Production of Social Capital. Political Communication, 18(2), 141-162.

Shearer, E. & Matsa, K. E. (2018). News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2018. Retrieved from

Theocharis, Y. & Quintelier, E. (2016). Stimulating Citizenship or Expanding Entertainment? The Effect of Facebook on Adolescent Participation. New Media & Society, 18(5), 817-836.

Touraine, A. (1985). An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements. Social Research, 52(4), 749-787.

Tufekci, Z. & Wilson, C. (2012). Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations from Tahrir Square. Journal of Communication, 62(2), 363-379.

Turper, S. & Aarts, K. (2017). Political Trust and Sophistication: Taking Measurement Seriously. Social Indicators Research, 130(1), 415-434.

Tusa, F. (2013). How Social Media Can Shape a Protest Movement: The Cases of Egypt in 2011 and Iran in 2009. Arab Media and Society, 17, 1-19.

Van Deth, J. W., Montero, J. R. & Westholm, A. (Eds.) (2007). Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies: A Comparative Analysis. London: Routledge.

Warren, Jr. J., Moffitt, K. C. & Byrnes, P. (2015). How Big Data Will Change Accounting. Accounting Horizons, 29(2), 397-407.

Weirman, S. (2020). Understanding Social-Media-Facilitated Mobilization Through Network Mental Models: An Exploratory Analysis of Emergent, Network-Level, Coordinated Team Functioning. Doctoral Thesis. Philosophy in Information Sciences and Technology. The Pennsylvania State University.

Welch, M. R., Rivera, R. E. N., Conway, B. P., Yonkoski, J., Lupton, P. M. & Giancola, R. (2005). Determinants and Consequences of Social Trust. Sociological Inquiry, 75(4), 453-473.

Woodly, D. (2008). New Competencies in Democratic Communication? Blogs, Agenda Setting and Political Participation. Public Choice, 134(1-2), 109-123.

Xia, Ch. & Shen, F. (2018). Political Participation in Hong Kong: The Roles of News Media and Online Alternative Media. International Journal of Communication, 12, 1569-1590.

Yang, K. & Holzer, M. (2006). The Performance–Trust Link: Implications for Performance Measurement. Public Administration Review, 66(1), 114-126.

Zhang, W. & Chia, S. C. (2006). The Effects of Mass Media Use and Social Capital on Civic and Political Participation. Communication Studies, 57(3), 277-297.

Zhu, A. Y. F., Chan, A. L. S. & Chou, K-L. (2019). Creative Social Media Use and Political Participation in Young People: The Moderation and Mediation Role of Online Political Expression. Journal of adolescence, 77, 108-117.


Search GoogleScholar


Article Details


Most read articles by the same author(s)