Social media and Fiji’s 2018 national election

  • Jope Tarai The University of the South Pacific
Keywords: censorship, elections, Facebook, Fiji, politics, social media, voting


Political campaigning on social media in Fiji was first witnessed in the 2014 national election. In the Fiji 2018 general election, social media political campaigning had evolved with greater complexity and a wider variety of implications. This research examines and highlights the use of social media by political parties and candidates in the 2018 national elections. This examination provides comparative social media discussions between the two elections; 2014 and 2018. The research uses digital ethnography as a methodology to examine and highlight social media use, by political parties and candidates in Fiji’s 2018 national elections. The research found that FijiFirst, as the ruling government, had significant advantage in Fiji’s social media landscape. However, opposition social media efforts and growing Facebook ‘reactions’ were beginning to challenge FijiFirst’s social media dominance.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Afuga, B. (2014, May 1). Forum Solomon Islands International and its future. (Author, Interviewer)

Beldi, L. (2018, May 18). 'Fiji Exposed will keep exposing'—concerns that online safety law could be used to target political critics. Pacific Beat. Retrieved from

Boulianne, S. (2015). Social media use and participation: A meta-analysis of current research. Information, Communication & Society, 524-538.

Cave , D. (2012). Digital islands: How the Pacific's ICT revolution is transforming the region. Sydney, NSW: Lowy Institute .

Enli, G. (2017). Twitter as arena for the authentic outsider: Exploring the social media campaigns of Trump and Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential election. European Journal Of Communication, 50-61.

Fiji Audience Insights. (2018, October 4). Audience Insights—Fiji. Retrieved from Facebook:

Fiji Elections Office. (2018, October 1). 2018 General Election. Retrieved December 15, 2018, from

Foster, S. (2007). Who let the blogs out? Media and free speech in post-coup Fiji. Pacific Journalism Review, 13(2), 47-60. Retrieved from;dn=839172533303057;res=IELHSS

Gerbaudo, P. (2012). Tweets and the streets. London, UK: PlutoPress.

Gibson, R. (2015). Party change, social media and the rise of 'citizen-initiated campaiging'. PartyPolitics, 183-197.

Gil de Zúñiga, H., Molyneux , L., & Zheng, P. (2014). Social media, political expression, and political participation: Panel analysis of lagged and concurrent relationships. Journal Of Communication , 612-634.

Krishnamurthi, S. (2018, November 19). 2018 Fiji elections—the ‘fake news’ catchphrase of this poll but beware. Retrieved January 5, 2019, from

Logan, S. (2013, April 17). Mobilising politics in PNG. Retrieved from ANU College of Asia & the Pacific:

McAlone, N. (2015, October 9). There is a specific sociological reason why Facebook introduced its new emoji 'reactions'. Retrieved from Business Insider:

Minges , M., & Stork, C. (2015). Economic and social impact of ICT in the Pacific . Sydney: Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility .

MOG. (2014). 2014 Fijian elections—Final report of the Multinational Observer Group (MOG). Suva, Fi: Fiji Multi Observer Group (MOG)—2014.

MOG. (2018). 2018 Fijian general election—Final report of the Multinational Observer Group. Suva, Fiji: Multiobserver Group Observing the 2018 General Elections.

Morris, R. (2017). Watching our words: Perceptions of self-censorship and media freedom in Fiji. Pacific Journalism Monographs: Te Koakoa: Nga Rangahau: Retrieved from https://

Pink, S., Horst, H., Postill, J., Hjorth , L., Lewis, T., & Tacchi, J. (2016). Digital ethnography. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Robie, D. (2001). Coup coup land: The press and the putsch in Fiji. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 10, 149-162.

Robie, D. (2016). ‘Unfree and unfair’?: Media intimidation in Fiji’s 2014 elections. In S. Ratuva , & S. Lawson (Eds.), The people have spoken: The 2014 elections in Fiji (pp. 83-108). Canberra, ACT: ANU Press.

Ross, K. (2017). Face to face (book). Political Science, 46-62.

Singh , S. (2015). The evolution of media laws in Fiji and impacts on journalism and society. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 21(1), 126-141.

Tarai, J. (2015, September 29). To regulate or not: Fiji's social media. ANU in Brief Series. Retrieved from

Tarai, J. (2018, November 30). 2018 Fiji elections: the real losses and wins. DevPolicy blog. Retrieved from

Tarai, J. (2018). Unpacking Fiji internet law narratives: Online safety or online regulation? Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 24(2), 84-94.

Tarai, J. (2019, January 21). Controlling the internet in Fiji. DevPolicy blog. Retrieved from

Tarai, J., & Drugunalevu , E. (2018, October 29). Citizen journalism, social media & the media in Fiji. SGDIA WORKING PAPER SERIES—USP. Retrieved from

Tarai, J., Finau, G., Titifanue, J., & Kant, R. (2015, September 29). Fiji flag change: Social media responds. ANU—SSGM In Brief. Retrieved from

Tarai, J., Finau, G., Titifanue, J., & Kant, R. (2015). Political social media campaigning in Fiji's 2014 elections. Journal Of Pacific Studies, 89-114.

PJR icon
How to Cite
Tarai, J. (2019). Social media and Fiji’s 2018 national election. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 25(1&2), 52-64.

Most read articles by the same author(s)