Expectations and Experiences With MyLabourParty: From Right to Know to Right to Participate?


  • Accepted by previous editor Maria Bakardjieva


Social media are often argued to change political communication, decreasing the distance between politicians and citizens, and increasing citizens' influence on policymaking. This paper presents findings from a study of how the Norwegian Labour Party uses social media, focusing on the community platform MyLabourParty. Interviews with politicians and a survey with citizens as respondents were conducted to examine the experiences of online political discussions. Findings show that citizens and politicians expect MyLabourParty to strengthen citizen participation. Yet, citizens still experience communication asymmetry and politicians may find it challenging to participate to the extent citizens expect. Means for bridging the gap between expectations and experiences are called for, in particular redefinition of the offering, changes of user-practices, and system improvements.