Facebook’s ad hoc groups, which sporadically form on social network sites for pursuing societal change, earn more news media coverage compared to the groups oriented toward entertaining topics.
Three academics from University of Jyväskylä analyzed 27 open Facebook groups and pages selected according to their different missions like social well-being movements, community discussion groups, protest/support and law initiatives.
The study, conducted through an online survey and content analysis of Finnish news media, found that groups focused on social well-being and law initiative received most of the media coverage.
The study, while discovering why news media have used the specific groups as news sources, found the groups use online news links as a part of their missions, and thus form additional potential synergy level with traditional media.
The societal influence groups also gained larger news coverage, related to their thought-provoking topics, connections to current conditions, group membership size and potential to deal with issues of common concern.
The results also show that ambitions and objectives of ad hoc groups differ notably according to their main mission despite the general entertainment-orientation and self-referential nature of social media.
To read the full text of the study:
Sormanen, N., Lauk, E., & Uskali, T. (2017). Facebook’s ad hoc groups: a potential source of communicative power of networked citizens. Comunicación y Sociedad, 30(2), 77.