The aim of this study is to examine the democratizing potential and political implications of user-generated content (UGC), including political expression, idea exchange and public discussion, during the 2016 Taiwan Presidential election. YouTube, the largest and most widely used video-sharing website, both appeals to a large audience and allows for diverse modes of expression through videos and comments without editing and censoring. Ordinary citizens are able to upload their videos (UGC) or to comment on the videos, adding their voices on the online debate. This study adopts a quantitative content analysis to explore the relationship between the production of UGC on YouTube about the 2016 Taiwan presidential election and the reception of those videos-viewers. The result shows that UGC on YouTube can facilitate public participation, through allowing citizens to express, exchange, and even debate their political ideas, thoughts and concerns. Without strong political resources, citizens have played the role of gatewatcher by retelling the stories from mainstream media. Secondly, the topic, genre, and style of UGC are able to influence the content and language of comments. The videos coded as scandal receive the higher click-through rate, the greater the number of comments, the more uncivil language are used. Thirdly, the performance of UGC influences the quality of discussion. The videos with emotional appeals generate the most attention from the public and mass media than fact-based ones, but the comments on those popular videos are often negative in tone, and offer less substantive viewpoints.
Yuling Lin, Shih-Hsin University, Taiwan
Stream: Media Studies
This paper is part of the ACCS2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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