A Quantitative Research on the Influence of Social Media Use on Political Trust among Citizens of the Netherlands
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Today, social media allows members of digital communities to connect in new ways. Previous research has shown that social media has the ability to create online social capital which increases offline political participation. As political trust is also a relevant aspect of social capital, the question arises whether the same relationship can be found. This study aimed to investigate how the use of social media influences political trust of citizens of the Netherlands. In light of its findings, the current study cannot support the assumption that general social media use predicts changes in political trust of citizens in the Netherlands. However, some controversial findings were found, as the social networking sites Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp do show an effect on political trust. Besides, the influence of social media use differs for certain age groups, however the same does not apply for political affiliation. More elaborated future research is necessary to elucidate the effect of the different social media on political trust and to gain more insights into the mechanisms behind this.