Research: authoritarian power influences people's social media behavior

Portuguese researchers have studied how different political regimes affect the behavior of people in social

networks.They assimilated data from 6,750 posts from 225 different brand Facebook pages in fifteen countries. It turned out that people's relationship with power affects how users rate and comment on posts on the social network.

Scientists have classified indicators of engagement,namely the number of likes, reposts and comments. They also looked at how people use different emojis - love, wow, and funny - to rate a post. Then the experts added data on the political situation in different countries to the analysis.

As a result, scientists have found severalinteresting correlations. For example, in countries with low levels of individualism and those where the authorities have distanced themselves from people, users share messages more often than comment on them. In other words, the more authoritative the government in the country, the more people simply share posts without commenting on them. The researchers also found that the use of “funny” or “wow” emoticons instead of the standard “like” was also associated with higher levels of individualism in the state.

Recall that individualism is moral, politicaland social worldview (philosophy, ideology), which emphasizes individual freedom, the paramount importance of the individual, personal independence within the framework of the constitutional legal order.

Scientists note that their work is the firstpublished on the basis of real, organically collected data in the form of engagement metrics to analyze cultural differences. They intend to continue their research.

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