The present study challenges prevailing beliefs and research on the role of social media in supporting deliberation and an active public sphere. Based on a two-wave online panel survey (n = 791) of the adult population of Hong Kong, as one case of a politically polarized society, we examine the degree to which individuals disconnect from those with whom they politically disagree with on social media. The analysis indicates that exposure to disagreement does indeed lead people to filter their information repertoire by disconnecting from those with whom they disagree. A moderated mediation analysis finds that political disagreement indirectly influenced activist participation through information repertoire filtration. However, in contrast to expectations, this effect was stronger when individuals had a lower level of affective polarization. Our findings underscore the value of focusing on the behavior of users to complement research on access to information about politics.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Cultural Studies
- Computer Science Applications
- affective polarization
- information repertoire filtration
- political disagreement
- political participation