CHAPTER platforms that facilitate the construction of social networks

CHAPTER
2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1
Introduction

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Literature reviews of previous
research was studied to have a better understanding on this research’s topic
and the findings will be analyzed as to determine whether social media becoming
the effective tool to influence youth’s voting behavior towards political landscape.
According Cheung, Lee & Chan (2015) stated social media are online
platforms that facilitate the construction of social networks or social
relations among people who share similar interests and backgrounds. When people
join social media, they make connections with their social media’s friends and
seek for different public opinion. Researcher believes that social media create
an online social environment where social media users can easily observe what
others’ perception and opinion the online platforms (Zhou, 2011).

2.2
Youth’s Social Media Consumption

            New  media 
scholars  argue that  youth also known as Generation Y  are 
not  really  interested 
in traditional media such as reading newspaper (Lee and Wei, 2008) and
search about political news through social media which provide online
communication and online political participation (Tom P. Bakker, 2011).
Besides, social media is the best medium to examine youth trends on searching
political information because they are born to be tech-savvy whereby they are
very much interest on technology as they are familiar with technology. A Pew
Research Center report from 2013 discovered that Facebook is the most preferred
social media platform of youth in terms of numbers of registered users. A study
in Africa by Kassam (2013) had discussed various aspects of social media use by
youth. He reveals that youth use social media as a source of political, social,
educational, economic, and cultural information yet another few researchers
Buhari, Ahmad, and HadiAshara (2014) also discovered young people between the
ages of 15 and 29 years preferred to use Facebook to search for information.

According to Pew Research Center
(2015), in the year of 2014, there are total of 74% of internet users who uses
the social media which the growing ubiquity of cell phones, especially the rise
of smartphones. “Nearly 57% of them use internet regularly and spend 22.3
online hours per week.” (Nielsen, 2011). According to Douglas (2012), Facebook
is ranked first among the most popular social media that visited by Internet
users in Malaysia. About 90% of Malaysians use Facebook as their main social
media network and they just only using it for entertainment. The existence of
social media has created a more democratic sphere among the citizens. For
example, by using a finger, a touch or a press on the button, Malaysian citizen
is able to voice out their opinion, to give feedbacks and thus making it into a
chain reaction between communities in Malaysia whether it is about global topic
or it is about local political issues. Social media had allow youth to access
information, send messages, offer views and opinions, and deliberate over
critical issues (Normah, Faridah, Wan Amizah, Fauziah, Chang & Maizatul,
2011).

Aindrila, Nikhil & Mousumi
(2014) found that new and existing voters go online to seek information,
address question and, most importantly, to form opinions. The same is widely
influenced by the social media chatter, information provided by political parties,
the ability to participate in a dialogue with the voters, and the overall
sentiment around the leaders up for voting. They seek for asking opinion, share
information for other or from others and then only they will make a decision.
That is why many opinion leaders nowadays use Facebook for discussing specific
issues as they would use social media to protest against government policy by
posting a status on Facebook with strong justification in order to influence
public. The general election in 2008, statistics showed that blogging was an
effective vehicle to attract more socio-political cyberspace election
info-sharing and debate, but the trend has moved to Facebook and Twitter for
information seeking, especially for issues related to politics (Ismail, Syamsul,
Hasmzh & Zanuddin, 2008).

2.3
Social media and Politics

According to Ravi Gupta and Hugh
Brooks (2013), a key opinion leader is a starting point in the social media
whose behavior and content influences the behavior of others in the online
platform. This has shown that youths relied a lot on social media and the
information on the social media exactly have the power to influence them due to
advanced technology nowadays. It has the power to help youth to be work
together or making new relationship between one and other but it can also
damage a relationship easily if they receive wrong information or wrong advice.
The journal of Mohd Azizuddin & Mohd Sani (2014) studied that, among some
of the countries such as China, China had make the social media as their main
tool in spreading the news to its citizen. As China has a huge amount of
population, researcher can observe that social media tend to be very
influential towards citizens.

In Malaysia’s perspective, most of
the political parties have used the traditional media to propagate and deliver
their messages to the voters before the emergence of social media. Several
political scholars have written on relevant issue on elections and politics in
Malaysia. Most of these scholar claimed that the message delivery of the
mainstream media during elections has shown that they consistently portrayed
the ruling political party. Due to nowadays power of social media, the social
media has helped to develop the public sphere with several elements such as the
widespread internet access and relative freedom on the internet that created an
online news portal in Malaysia such as MalaysiaKini (Larry, 2010). This served
as the keystone into reforming the structure of democracy in Malaysia which
allows freedom of speech. One of the online news portals which is MalaysiaKini,
it has represent a tool for democratization in Malaysia which enables public to
exchange and share opinions (Rosyidah, 2015). This social media platform
provides useful information to be disseminated publicly without government
interference. According to a journal that wrote by Steele (2009), this study is
focuses on taking an approach and analyzes how independent journalists at
Malaysiakini and questions of democracy and social change. Therefore, this researcher
mentioned that any other social media or online news portal previously used to
provide critical of political case as an example, certain group fight for
justice, reporting certain politician’s statements, showing photos and
providing up-to-date news. This feature has changed the way the public opinion
in consuming news and allowing public to have more credible information and
observe different perspective on the same issues in terms of political
communication.

As evidenced by Rosyidah (2015)
study, she further claim that social media and online news portals promotes
democratization by enhancing civil liberties and helping to frame the
conference and agenda for public policies. For example, with MalaysiaKini is
trying to grab the citizen attention, its widespread effect was quite effective
through the usage of social media like blogging, Facebook, Twitter which are
making more news exposure to the mass audiences. Some of the previous
researcher Crouch (1993), Jesudason (1995) & Schedler (2002) had stated
Malaysia as a soft authoritarian, pseudo democracy, with a complex democracy
and guiding by electoral authoritarianism due to the media coverage in
Malaysia, the mainstream media works in preference of the interests of the
government and is strongly biased (Cherian, 2005). For example, in Malaysia,
some of the media company was owned by government which they used to censorship
certain news. So, to achieve the democracy goal in this kind of environment
that are fully covered by agenda setting from old media whereby the goal is
difficult to achieve. In addition, this is why social media is more reliable
than main stream media that social media is a platform that allows voters to
giving out their opinion and different point of view which they willing to put effort
of participation in election.

In fact, the social media provides
a platform for communication, mobilization, information and cooperation to
those youths who are already interested in specific fields such as youth voters
will search information about political news before the election started. While
social media as an information platform, it makes some worthy of attention
which bring some contribution to buildi the political awareness and discussion
of political issues (Derishs, 2002). And also according to the researcher,
Rosyidah (2011) she stated access to information is an important aspect of
democracy. However, youth was borned in digital world, the information they
recieve can empower them by “ensuring that youth have the tools they need to participate
in the decision making structures that affect their voting behaviour.”
Therefore, youths are able to access relevant information which is a central
characteristic of deliberative democracy which they are already familiar with
social media (Coleman and Wright, 2008). As a result, social media is a media
of always internet-connected, online platform that allows youths users to
gather and analyses public opinion towards public sphere as they are making
interactive by giving out opinion, point of view or sharing out their own
opinion without any hesitation.

2.4
Credibility and Reliability of news on Social Media

Discussion on credibility has
focused on three perspectives of communication: medium credibility, message
credibility, and source credibility (Metzger et al., 2003). Medium credibility
is the perceived level of credibility that individual users have of a specific
medium, such as newspapers, television, the Internet, or blogs (Sundar &
Nass, 2001). Message credibility, on the other hand, is the perceived
credibility of the communicated message itself, such as informational quality,
accuracy, or currency (Metzger et al., 2003). Source credibility is seen as the
expertise or trustworthiness of the source as the likelihood to provide
credible information (Flanagin & Metzger, 2003). For a source to be
regarded as credible and trustworthy, Rosenberry & Vicker (2009) maintain
that the source has to be trustworthy to the receiver of the information. If
over time, a source of information is regarded as always passing the test of
news believability then that source can be regarded as trustworthy. McQuail
(2007) said that some trust is required for a news source to be effective, and
people do not pay attention to media sources that they do not trust for
accurate and believable information dissemination.

According to Baran & Davis
(2003), high credibility communicators produce increased amounts of attitude
change; low-credibility communicators produce less attitude change, but the
trustworthiness of the communicator is what acts as a persuasive power of the
message. Social networking does not have the same level of trustworthiness that
traditional mass media can boast of, and some scholars like McQuail (2007)
argue that this is because of the instability of the internet as a developing
medium and tool for news dissemination. Severin & Tankard (2010) explain
that the credibility of social networks is shaky because many web pages are
mixing information and advertising in ways that typically did not happen in the
traditional media.

2.5
The Social Media as a tool towards Democracy

The social media becoming the
markers of participation for democracy issues, the function of social media
become the interaction bridge between government policy and public (Zaller,
1992). Due to the growth rate population of the social media issue, these users
becoming more active to discuss the government Issue. User utilized the
Facebook or Twitter as a platform for discussing the government issue, due to
less restriction and boundaries from any authorities to take action against
both social media, therefore more user treat the Facebook and Twitter as a
participation tools to discussed the government policy (Zukin, Keeter,
Andolina, Jenkins, & Delli-Carpini, 2006). 
Since the power of social media that can reach the mass audiences, more
politicians started using the social media to promote their strength and
manifesto to the public.

Jasmize (2014) point out through
the research that Facebook can gain back the confidence of the public and
politician using this opportunity to influence public to retain their right,
therefore Facebook is a biggest threat for implementation of government policy.
Those who belong to a political group with in Facebook can receive mobilizing
information that may not be available elsewhere and can encounter more
opportunities to engage in political activities. A similar scenario may apply
to civic groups who have a presence in the online network. An important share
of the civic and political impact of Facebook, then should occur within groups
developed by users and organizations. At the same time, increased participation
in online and of?ine groups typically helps to build trusting relationships
among members, further enhancing the potential of Facebook to increase social
capital (Kobayashi et al., 2006). Facebook provided a space to gather every
user to involve in a conversation regarding political issue and opportunities
to engage in political activities (Kobayashi et al., 2006). Hence, Facebook are
convenient the user freely access the information no matter where they are.

Facebook becoming the bridge of
interaction between the politicians and the public, hence Facebook provide more
space for user to expand their ideas and thought, therefore Facebook user
becoming more active to utilize Facebook to discuss politics issue rather than
others social media and the less restriction from the government.

2.6
Cognitive Level of Youth towards Political Landscape

Youths are partners in nation
building. Politics and nation building are very important in future. Political
socialization of youth involved looking into the influence of youths’ political
literacy, maturity, leadership experiences and their surrounding political
landscape.  Political party use social media
to share information is to decrease in the cost of acquiring information; and
second, to increase in youth’s ability to process political information which
in turn enhances participation (Research gate, 2015). In short, it means that
youths will have more political resources allowing them to deal with political
issues and must understand how democracy works in their society.

According to Qualman (2009) he
defines social media’s percentage is growing up every day and it is current top
one use for Internet. In addition, Social media is defined as “a group of
Internet-based applications that build on the technological foundations of Web
2.0, which allow the creation and exchange Effects of Social Media Use on
Relationship Satisfaction 4 of User Generated Content” (Kaplan & Haenlein,
2010) site by Porter, Mitchell, Meghan, Shinosky, and Gordon (2010). In a
research done by Ali (2011) he stated that Internet has growth the way most
people in the worldwide lifestyle. Besides, the social media’s aspects which
are interaction and participation will definitely have the power to affect
youth (Obama, 2008) site by Harfous (2009). According to Mooney (2009) site by
Biswajit & Sahoo (2011) defines social media’s email, instant messaging,
video, photo sharing and comment posting this all tools is help people to
communicate and interact with each other. One of the advantages of Facebook is
that it allows youth to interact straightly, and so they can receive instant
feedback regarding comments, reviews and actions implemented by the government.
Therefore, it is a highly effective channel of communication that helps youth
to gain a majority people’s opinions to certain issue.

2.7
Theoretical framework

Based on Blumler and Katz (1974), uses and gratification theory says that the
media users actually are in an active role in selecting and utilizing the
media. Uses and gratification is a theory of media to study and test how people
consume the media and gain the knowledge from the content. Theorists also
suggest that the users will find a media source that can best fit their needs.
In other meaning which is what people do with media instead of media does to
people. Uses and gratification is contradictory to the magic bullet theory
which the audiences are always passive. There are several categories of needs
and gratification in this theory such as cognitive needs and affective needs.
To further discuss the research cognitive whereby this is the most suitable
needs to conduct in this research. Normally people search the media for knowledge
and information, different people have different needs, therefore people who
need to know more about television news and they will search any platform to
gain more knowledge about it. Beside that internet which is a platform that
included trillion of information around the world.

According to the previous research
done by Farrugia (2013), nowadays, people tend to use social media such as
Facebook and twitter to satisfy their social integrative need as an information
seeker. Therefore this theory can be applied in this situation. The existence
of the of alternative media and television industry had affect and might
threaten the government policies and the safety of the nation due to the free
access information platform and the variety of choices for the public,
therefore government has establish few laws which restricted the media company
content may against the government policies. According to previous research
done by Daniel, Stephen & Miron (2008), they found out that between 31% and
50% of the respondents said they use the Internet weekly for in-depth
information. However people nowadays utilize the alternative media which is
social media to search for more information and the audiences no longer passive
which influence by the help of social media audiences has the right to choose
the content based on their interest.

2.8
Conclusion

Based on the literature review
part, it had emphasized the topic into five parts to discuss about it such as
youth’s social media consumption, social media and politics, credibility and
reliability of news on social media, social media as a tool towards democracy
and cognitive level of youth towards political landscape. As a conclusion,
there have different perception towards different topics between previous
research and this study. Therefore, it is interesting to find out the findings
and to investigate impacts of social media towards youths’ voting behaviour.
Last but not least, it is an interesting topic for doing research and it’s
finding of the results.