I Don't Like You Any More: Facebook Unfriending by Israelis During the Israel-Gaza Conflict of 2014

Nicholas A. John*, Shira Dvir-Gvirsman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article explores Facebook unfriending during the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014. We suggest that politically motivated unfriending is a new kind of political gesture. We present an analysis of a survey of 1,013 Jewish Israeli Facebook users. A total of 16% of users unfriended or unfollowed a Facebook friend during the fighting. Unfriending was more prevalent among more ideologically extreme and more politically active Facebook users. Weak ties were most likely to be broken, and respondents mostly unfriended people because they took offense at what they had posted or disagreed with it. Although social network sites may expose people to diverse opinions, precisely by virtue of the many weak ties users have on them, our findings show these ties to be susceptible to dissolution.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)953-974
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume65
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 International Communication Association.

Keywords

  • Defriending
  • Deliberation and Political Conversation
  • Disconnection
  • Facebook
  • Homophily
  • Ideologies/Values
  • Internet/New Technology
  • Social Network Sites
  • Unfriending
  • Weak Ties

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