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Information 2016, 7(4), 66; doi:10.3390/info7040066

Who Leads Advocacy through Social Media in Japan? Evidence from the “Tsukuba Civic Activities Cyber-Square” Facebook Page

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Willy Susilo
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Citizenship and Participation)
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Abstract

Although the importance of advocacy activities by civil society organizations (CSOs) in policy and decision-making procedures has been greatly emphasized in the literature of political science and social policy, we have relatively little understanding of the relevance and impact of the leading actors who structure the diverse networks and discourses through social media; further recognition is needed in both fields. The purpose of this study is to analyze civil society organizations at the local government level involved in advocacy activities through the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Our study focuses on a specific Japanese Facebook community page—the “Tsukuba Civic Activities Cyber-Square”—aimed at enhancing civil society activities in Japan. This page is operated by the municipal government of Tsukuba, in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba and Intel Corporation. Our findings indicate that social networking services such as Facebook can provide civil society organizations with: (1) more political opportunities to advocate; (2) more chances to connect with the local government; and (3) create opportunities to exert greater presence, despite their limited financial and political resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: civil society organizations (CSOs); advocacy; political network; social media; Facebook civil society organizations (CSOs); advocacy; political network; social media; Facebook
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Okura, S.; Kaigo, M. Who Leads Advocacy through Social Media in Japan? Evidence from the “Tsukuba Civic Activities Cyber-Square” Facebook Page. Information 2016, 7, 66.

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