The impact of social media and social networks in the voters' behavior during the electoral campaigns in Kosovo

AuthorMusa Nikçi
Vol. 4 No.2
September, 2018
Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
ISSN 2410-759X
Acces online at
The impact of social media and social networks in the voters’ behavior during
the electoral campaigns in Kosovo
Musa Nikçi
Social media has changed our way of living in many di erent ways. It has had an impact
in the way we perceive the world and our surroundings. While media in general and social
media speci cally have revolutionized the way we access information, researchers still
argue regarding the general impact of media in our lives. Many argue of positive aspects
while others provide arguments as how media negatively impacts the way we perceive the
nformation. While these debates still exist, in this paper we focus in a more closer media
impact: the electoral campaigns.
Social media has also impacted and changed the way electoral campaigns are carried out.
We have seen a trend in the usage of social media in almost every electoral campaign in the
world. This usage has emerged mainly from the bene ts that social media has brought to both
the electoral nominees and the voters: the nominees get to express their stances and opinions
regarding many important issues in social media while the voters inhale this deposited
information in a faster and more direct way.
In this paper we look closely at both the pros and the cons of media impact in voters’ behaviors.
We also delve in the way information is portrayed in the media during the electoral campaigns.
Is the media biased and does this biasing impact the voters’ polarization?
For many people life without the Internet and the social media would be vague and
without sense. That is why almost half the world’s population uses one of the social
networks and the digital media as a way of acquiring and broadcasting information.
Facebook tops the list of most used social networks with a total of 2.23 billion active
users1. It is then followed by Twi er, Instagram and Youtube2. These giant gures of
social networks use are the best indicators of the critical role that the la er have in the
way we perceive the world and our surroundings.
The traditional way of carrying out the electoral campaign with posters, rallies,
cardboard cutouts as well as house-to-house canvassing to win the voters is gradually
fading away. The way social media is organized: as a form or information technology
that utilizes interactive and user-produced content, has given the electoral nominees
the opportunity to communicate directly with the potential voter. We have seen this
impact mostly from the 2008 US elections where social media such as Facebook,
Youtube and Twi er was largely used to mobilize and spread the messages to the
Despite this communicative perception of social media, we have seen it being used
as a way of spreading propaganda and information that is misleading and serves
the purpose of vaporing with the potential voters’ minds. The spreading of ‘fake

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