The Effect of the Internet on Voting Behavior
The internet is the new mass medium that affects many aspects of everyday life. Empirical evidence during the initial phase of the internet suggests that a “crowding-out” of political information occurred, which affected voter turnout. The introduction of interactive social media and “user-defined” content appears to have reversed this, but there is a downside: voters can now be personally identified and strategically influenced by targeted information. Regulating the internet may be necessary, but it can also stifle innovation. Therefore, policymakers should consider introducing measures to educate voters to become more discriminating in their use of the Internet.