Political communication scholarship has investigated the mobilization effect of citizens’ political discursive behaviors during elections. With the recent advent of SNSs Social Networking Sites (SNSs) in the political communication environment, citizens’ discursive behaviors on SNSs have received increasing academic attention. This study examines (1) whether offline political talk mediates the relationship between political self-efficacy and election campaign activity (a type of political participation); (2) whether its mediation effect differs from that of SNS political talk; and (3) how those mediation effects vary according to citizens’ endorsed political ideologies. The results reveal that the effects of both offline and SNS political talk are statistically significant among conservatives, liberals, and moderates. Interestingly, the mediation effect of SNS political talk was substantially larger among liberals than among conservatives or moderates (i.e. a moderated mediation effect), while the effect of offline political talk was consistent across all three ideological groups. This study demonstrates that the electoral mobilization effect of SNSs is ideology-dependent, and is particularly based on the mismatch between SNS users’ political ideology and the current government's political orientation. Implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2016S1A3A2925033).
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