14th International Telecommunications Society (ITS) Asia-Pacific Regional Conference: "Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society", Kyoto, Japan, 24-27 June, 2017
Although women are increasingly securing various political positions, stereotype exist in the public perception of male and female political candidates’ viability and credibility. The emergence of social networking service has increased the potential for candidates to present themselves actively by a full control over political messages and portray a well-crafted persona through coherently presented texts and images directly delivered to voters. Measures of self-presentation strategies and their influence are becoming vital to understand this new political social environment. Based on the functional theory of campaign discourse and political imagery, this research adopted a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative analysis to explore how candidates managed and presented both textual and pictorial information on Facebook and LINE during the Taiwanese presidential election in 2016 and analyze features of successful messages with an extremely great number of likes and shares. This research found that both female and male candidates employed a safe self-presentation strategy and their intention to reverse gender stereotype was not evident. Gender difference was demonstrated in strategies to attack the rival and defend themselves. Textual and pictorial features of successful messages were in common but different in topics between Facebook and LINE. We make two contributions to research and practice. First, we analyze the self-presentation strategies by candidates of different genders to draw a rich picture of how Facebook and LINE utilized as a communications channel. Second, we transcend previous studies by analyzing both text and imagery.