New Zealand Social Media Study
The ISPRL houses the New Zealand Social Media Study (NZSMS), led by Dr Mona Krewel and conducted since the 2020 General Election, as its core study.
The NZMS is a long-term text analysis study on the political communication of political parties and leaders on Facebook. It has a permanent core and collects longitudinal data on key political topics over all waves, as well as monthly alternating special topic modules based on what is present in the public discourse at the time (e.g., on disinformation in the context of the Freedom Convoy protests or the social media communication about the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa New Zealand).
The NZSMS addresses questions such as:
- Which political topics do the political parties and their leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand focus on in their social media communication?
- Which societal groups are in the center of their social media communication? In particular, how present are Maori in the social media communication of Aotearoa New Zealand's political parties and their leaders and how do they address them?
- How informative to citizens is the social media communication of Aotearoa New Zealand’s political parties and their leaders? In particular, how informative is it around key issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic, housing, or poverty?
- Do political parties and their leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand mobilize citizens to participate in politics through their social media communication?
- How do Aotearoa New Zealand’s political parties and their leaders interact with citizens on social media?
- How much do political parties and their leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand make use of dirty political strategies such as negative campaigning and fake news? How populist is their political communication?
The NZSMS is also part of the international research collaboration DigiWorld including research teams in 17 countries which allows for comparisons of the findings on the political social media communication in Aotearoa New Zealand with the findings in other countries. New findings from the study are made available monthly on the blog below.
The 2020 New Zealand election campaign
Over the last four weeks of the 2020 New Zealand general election campaign, the New Zealand subteam of the DigiWorld project, New Zealand Social Media Study, led by Dr Mona Krewel and Professor Jack Vowles, has live coded the Facebook campaigns of the parties and candidates in the New Zealand election and published their preliminary results in weekly blog posts and a podcast to inform New Zealand’s voters about what has been going on the social media campaigns of the parties and the candidates. Their blogposts among many other aspects of the campaign covered the political issues thematized in the New Zealand election, the use of dirty campaign techniques such as negative campaigning, fake news, and half-truth by the parties and candidates, their use of populist language, voter mobilization attempts by the parties, the informational value of the campaigns for voters, and many other topics.
See links to their blog posts and the podcast below.
“#nzvotes: The dynamics of campaign communication on Facebook”
“Negative campaigning, fake news, and half-truths among the minor parties. And the question: is Advance New Zealand really ‘populist’?”
„New Zealanders deserve a positive election,“ said PM Jacinda Ardern. But are they getting it?”
“From dirty dairying to dirty campaigning? The duel between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins on Facebook”
Podcast: “New Zealand election 2020: Key Social Media Trends”