Building Citizens ‘Trust in Government Through Twitter: An Alternative of Poor Communication Between Government and Public

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Dr. Shah Nawaz Mangi
Dr. Abdul Razzak Larik


Across the world, social networking systems are becoming a major source of interaction between government and people. Governments are utilizing this channel for the provision of information and developing public positive opinion whereby the public can approach government or its officials to make informed decisions. Due to direct communication between ruler and the ruled, chances of transparency, responsiveness, and accountability increase, which ultimately enhances the public level of trust in government. Therefore, the current study argues that uncertain, weak, and hesitant relationships between government and people will negatively affect public trust. Thus, social network systems, especially Twitter can play an alternative role. It may enable a commoner to interact with his/her representatives without any bureaucratic involvement. In this study, the researchers investigated how the use of an officer's Twitter account for online communication affects Pakistani citizens' trust in their government. We surveyed 390 people who followed a government agency's Twitter account and analyzed the data using structural equation analysis. The study found that the credibility of a leading officer's Twitter feed influenced citizens' trust in the relevant agency and the central government. Trust in Twitter as a governmental medium also positively influenced this expansion of trust. However, the study had some limitations, including a small sample size and insufficient consideration of Pakistani organizational culture factors. It did not examine the relationship between local governments and residents or consider how demographic characteristics affect citizens' trust. Future research should address these gaps and explore the factors that influence citizens' trust in the government, including the expertise, attractiveness, and friendliness of spokespersons.

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