Analysis of the article “The writing on the wall: A content analysis of college students’ facebook groups for the 2008 presidential election”
Fernandes, E. W., Giurcanu, B. E., Bowers, K., Neely, J. C., (2012). The Writing on the Wall: A Content Analysis of College Students’ Facebook Groups for the 2008 Presidential Election. Mass Communication and Society, 89, 653-675 DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2010.516865
The title of this article is a clean and easy to understand title. I really like how straightforward it is so there is no confusion while reading this title. The title states that they will be using college students in the study and that it has to do with Facebook during times of elections. The general topic and variables are stated.
In this article there wasn’t an obvious abstract like the other articles that I have read. The abstract is the first paragraph but the words aren’t bolded or italic like past ones I have seen. The abstract nicely states the purpose of this whole study and what they found. They mentioned the difference between the facebook groups for Obama and McCain and that facebook is a main source for politics for college students.
Again, there seemed to be no problem in this article. The introduction went over how our generation uses facebook and how this makes an impact on elections. They also talk about how our generation (ages 18-24) has been under represented recently, but having politics on facebook may increase voters. Differences between the two parties on facebook were also mentioned, which will lead us into the researcher hypothesizes. They came up with 5 hypothesizes that are listed below. H1: Facebook groups supporting Barack Obama will show a higher level of site activity and membership than Facebook groups supporting John McCain. H2: Content on Facebook groups supporting one of the two major candidates of the 2008 U.S. presidential election will focus more on political discussions than on social interaction. H3: Facebook groups’ discussion will focus mostly on the short-term influences of candidate image and policy issues as identified by traditional voting behavior models, rather than on long-term influences of party identification and group affiliation.
H4: Candidate mentions on Facebook groups will demonstrate praise for the group’s candidate rather than criticism for the respective candidate or the opposing candidate.
H4a: The overall tone of the wall posts on these Facebook groups will be positive, as the focus will be in supporting the group’s candidate rather than negative. In this research they obviously used facebook to look at the results. In facebook they had codes ingrained into each post to see what gender, age, and ethnicity the person is. They create a facebook group for each candidate and then kept track of the wall postings for a certain amount of time. They watched