Abstract

This research investigates how levels of citizen trust in government and compliance are affected by citizens’ use of the Internet. Starting from the premise that information is a key determinant of public opinion and citizen behavior, this research explores the extent to which the time that citizens spend on the Internet affects their trust in government and compliance with government policies, compared with the influence of the traditional, off-line, mass media modalities, such as newspapers. In addition, we also assess the impact of citizens’ use of e-government on levels of trust in government and compliance. The results of the analyses suggest that the more time individuals spend on the Internet, the lower their degree of trust in government and lower level of citizen compliance. However, our results also suggest that such negative effects of the Internet can be moderated through citizens’ increased use of e-government.

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