The Google voter: search engines and elections in the new media ecology

Trevisan, F., Hoskins, A. , Oates, S. and Mahlouly, D. (2018) The Google voter: search engines and elections in the new media ecology. Information, Communication and Society, 21(1), pp. 111-128. (doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1261171)

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This paper explores key Internet search trends for electoral information vis-à-vis the broader media ecology in the UK and the US. An innovative methodology is introduced that maps the informational trajectories of key election events by combining Google Trends data linked to significant news events during the campaigns. While the research found spikes of search that suggested a seemingly trivial event in the US could drive voters to search out deeper information on related policy issues, the study did not find the same phenomenon in the UK. This invites a reflection on the opportunities available to Internet users/voters in the changing informational landscape and how scholars can leverage Google Trends records to better understand how voters seek information in new and evolving media ecologies.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hoskins, Professor Andrew
Authors: Trevisan, F., Hoskins, A., Oates, S., and Mahlouly, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Information, Communication and Society
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1468-4462
Published Online:01 December 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Information, Communication and Society 21(1):111-128
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
621171Google: The Role of Internet Search in Elections in Established and Challenged DemocraciesAndrew HoskinsEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K007890/1ADAM SMITH RESEARCH FOUNDATION