Vinci Salvini! Boosting engagement in the 2019 European elections campaign in Italy
Keywords:Twitter, Gamification, hybrid campaign, online participation, Matteo Salvini
Our study examines the 2019 European elections campaign in the Italian Twittersphere and the online activity of Matteo Salvini, former Italian Interior Minister and leader of the League. We consider the social media contest Vinci Salvini! (“Win Salvini!”) and we demonstrate how gamification, in the form of casual games, can affect participation and content visibility. The contest involved less committed citizens, offering an easy and interruptible mode of participation, crowdsourcing part of the campaign effort to them. Motivated by simple rewards, they spread the leader’s messages more and faster than other users, affecting in turn the algorithmic logic of the platforms. Therefore, we conclude that although online participation is very skewed, gamification can rebalance and widen it.
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