14 Jun 2016

Social media raises civic engagement in Melanesia

9:59 am on 14 June 2016

A researcher at the Australan National University says more young people are becoming engaged in elections in Melanesia due to mobile phones and social media.

Roannie Ng Shiu from the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia programme said Facebook and text messaging had proven to be the most effective ways to reach young voters.

She said more young people were using social media to push for change in their communities.

A recent court case in Papua New Guinea saw a successful candidate lose his seat after a video recorded on a mobile phone was used against him.

Ms Ng Shiu said technology and social media had given young people a voice.

"It's actually helped increase political participation," she said. "Like, they feel like they have a voice. And it's provided them with a forum and platform to voice their opinions and to ask really hard questions that they might not be able to ask in newspapers and through traditional print media."