Lev-On, Azi, and Haleva-Amir, Sharon. 2018. Normalizing or equalizing? Characterizing Facebook campaigning. New Media and Society, 20(2), 720-739.
The article analyzes whether Facebook campaigning is consistent with the Normalization or Equalization hypothesis, drawing on data from the election campaigns for the 20th Israeli Parliament in 2015. We looked at six indicators of Facebook activity (number of fans, number of posts, and scope of engagement [likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement]) of all parties running for the Knesset as well as candidates with realistic electability rankings. We found that a comparison between dominant and peripheral parties across all indicators is consistent with the Normalization hypothesis, but when it is framed in terms of expectations and is forward-looking rather than backward-looking, that is, the difference in Facebook performance is between parties that expect to gain a significant number of seats in the parliament, and those that do not anticipate significant parliamentary achievements.