News Sharing Repertoires on Social Media in the Context of Networked Authoritarianism: The Case of Turkey

Suncem Kocer, Çigdem Bozdag

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    Abstract

    Social media has become a primary gateway for users to access news, especially in authoritarian states with strictly controlled media environments. In such contexts, it is crucial to understand the motivations that prompt users to share news on social media. Our qualitative multimethod study presents three patterns of news-sharing repertoires on social media: (1) refraining from sharing and/or self-censorship, (2) sharing overtly political news, and (3) sharing news with political implications in carefully crafted safe zones. In Turkey, these patterns are strongly influenced by the polarized and increasingly authoritarian setting. Our findings first contribute to the literature on news sharing and news repertoires through an in-depth study of news-sharing repertories that emphasize the role of social and political contexts. Second, we contribute to the literature on social media and authoritarianism by shedding light on a rather understudied group of users who do not completely self-censor and are not political activists but still share news with political implications online in a cautious and strategic way.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5292-5310
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Communication
    Volume14
    Publication statusPublished - Nov-2020

    Keywords

    • Social Media
    • News Repertoires
    • News Sharing
    • Networked Authoritarianism
    • polarization
    • safe zones
    • Turkey
    • qualitative research

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