Bosnia and Herzegovina

Research

  • Journal Article

    Testing the Effects of Facebook Usage in an Ethnically Polarized Setting

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021

    View Article View abstract

    Despite the belief that social media is altering intergroup dynamics—bringing people closer or further alienating them from one another—the impact of social media on interethnic attitudes has yet to be rigorously evaluated, especially within areas with tenuous interethnic relations. We report results from a randomized controlled trial in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), exploring the effects of exposure to social media during 1 wk around genocide remembrance in July 2019 on a set of interethnic attitudes of Facebook users. We find evidence that, counter to preregistered expectations, people who deactivated their Facebook profiles report lower regard for ethnic outgroups than those who remained active. Moreover, we present additional evidence suggesting that this effect is likely conditional on the level of ethnic heterogeneity of respondents’ residence. We also extend the analysis to include measures of subjective well-being and knowledge of news. Here, we find that Facebook deactivation leads to suggestive improvements in subjective wellbeing and a decrease in knowledge of current events, replicating results from recent research in the United States in a very different context, thus increasing our confidence in the generalizability of these effects.

    Area of Study

    Date Posted

    Jun 22, 2021

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News & Views

  • News
    A group of people working over a table that has papers, sticky notes, and a laptop on it.

    Our Craig Newmark Philanthropies Graduate Students

    In 2020, Craig Newmark Philanthropies donated $400,000 to support our PhD students, ensuring they could continue their research projects examining some of the biggest questions at the intersection of social media and democracy. Here is an update on what they've been working on this past year thanks to Craig's generous support.

    July 1, 2021

  • News
    A series of Bosnian and Herzegovinian flags.

    How Do Social Media Influence Ethnic Polarization?

    Those who deactivated their Facebook profiles report a lower regard for other ethnic groups, shows a new study of users in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    June 14, 2021

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