Panel Abstract

Exploring the Effects of Internet and Social Media Use on Authoritarian/Democratic Values in the Philippines

People’s authoritarian and democratic values have been an interesting issue in the Philippines, considering its experience of authoritarian rule from 1972 to 1981 and its transition into democratic rule in 1986, along with the change of Presidency. Measuring belief in democratic values in past studies have revealed differing results, i.e., mixed, non-unanimous patterns. Interestingly, the number of Filipino adult internet users (aged 18 and above) have grown to an estimated 30 million as of 2018. Similarly, adult social media users have also been growing in numbers, and thus, are becoming an important demographic group.

This paper will focus on the findings from Wave 5 of the Asian Barometer Survey conducted in 2018 by Social Weather Stations (SWS) in the Philippines.

This will look into whether using internet and social media in general affects one’s leaning toward authoritarian or democratic values. Initial findings show that Filipinos score high on supporting political equality but don’t necessarily support beliefs in pluralism, political liberty, separation of power, popular accountability, or secularism.