Institutional Trust and Social Media Use in Citizen-State Relations: Results from an international cross country vignette study



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Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


The objective of this article is to identify whether trust affects citizens’ use of social media to initiate conversations with government on social media platforms. Using a vignette survey, we gathered data from the Canada, Greece, the Netherlands and Paraguay. Multivariate analysis showed that controlling for demographics and individual-level adoption factors, trust in government does not impact citizens’ use of social media to initiate conversations about public issues, but trust in social media business and organizational infrastructure is (both in democratic countries as well as in flawed democracies). These results highlight how trust in institutions affect citizens’ engagement and digital participation, and identifies conditions under which social media platforms may contribute to a vibrant democracy.



social media, adoption, diffusion, citizen-state relations, trust, comparative study