Journal article

Facebook and politics in Africa: Zimbabwe and Kenya

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Publication Details

Author list: Bosch TE, Admire M, Ncube M

Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Media, Culture and Society

Volume number: 42

Issue number: 3

Start page: 349

End page: 364

Total number of pages: 16

ISSN: 0163-4437

eISSN: 1460-3675



The potential for the Internet to play a role in political life, and the extension of the public sphere, has been widely documented. More specifically, social media has emerged as an arena of political communication, widely used by political parties for campaigning, and also by citizens to choreograph various forms of protest. In the African context, the growth of the mobile Internet has resulted in the rise of social media platforms, most notably Facebook and Twitter. These social networking sites are used for a range of purposes, from personal connectivity, to various citizenship practices, including political debate and activism. It has subsequently been argued that the Internet has contributed to the formation of alternate public spheres, in which citizenship can be practiced in different ways. This article explores the use of Facebook for political discussion in Africa, focusing on Zimbabwe and Kenya, two countries at the forefront of developments with regard to Internet connectivity and digital activism. We explore Facebook as a communicative platform for political discourse, through an analysis of the Facebook pages of two prominent politicians. The article uses Netvizz, a data collection and extraction tool, to extract quantitative data from Facebook pages, and conducts a thematic qualitative content analysis of posts.


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Last updated on 2021-02-03 at 11:05