Twitter as a Platform for Citizen Participation: A Study on its Users' Active Online Participation in the Issue of Lowering the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

BURGOS, M.E. (2019). Twitter as a Platform for Citizen Participation: A Study on its Users' Active Online Participation in the Issue of Lowering the Minimum Criminal Age of Responsibility, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Citizen participation is a valuable ingredient in the process of governance and essential for a healthy democracy. With the emergence of social networking sites (SNS), people are able to participate in the said process by having the opportunity and ability to express their opinions in matters of public concern aside from the traditional ways of participation. In this regard, this study describes the overall active online participation on Twitter and shows how the different features and functions found on the site influence the empowerment users can get from their participation.

Guided by the Hypertext theory and the empowerment and citizen participation framework, the paper presents an integration of the technical and cultural side in the users’ active online participation. Through several ethnographic interviews, the study also reveals how the engagement functions and features were used in citizen participation. The users’ experience on their engagements shows that Twitter is not a viable tool for such participation because of the site’s limitations and failure to transcend the bounds of the virtual sphere. For some users, the limitations are the 280-character-limit and the easy-to-misconstrue engagement function - liking.

Keywords: citizen participation, Twitter, lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, empowerment

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