Patterns of Negative Campaigning during the 2019 European Election: Political Parties’ Facebook Posts and Users’ Sharing Behaviour across Twelve Countries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Information Technology & Politics (JITP). 2022, . 10.1080/19331681.2022.2115598
Focusing on the 2019 European Parliament campaign, we investigate parties’ engagement in negative campaigning on Facebook and the relationship to a parties’ ideology and their status as governing versus opposition party at the national level. Manual coding of 8,153 Facebook posts of parties from twelve European countries shows parties create less negative posts than positive and neutral ones. However, these negative posts attract more shares than positive, neutral, and balanced statements, which increases their prominence on the platform. Hence, users and algorithms create a negative campaign environment on Facebook to a greater extent than parties.