Rianne Dekker presents her paper 'Online feedback in migration systems', co-authored by Godfried Engbersen in Parallel session I(B) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond, 24-26 Sept 2013
Online media allow for transnational communication in migration systems that does not only directly affect non-migrants who are embedded in migration networks, but also possibly affects a broader community as a channel of indirect feedback. This paper studies the effect of transnational exchange of information via online media on migration processes. We take a migration systems approach and consider both the information sending-perspective of migrants in destination countries as well as the information consuming-perspective of non-migrants in popular origin localities of migration in Western Europe. Our results show that online media have become rather important channels of communication. Online feedback sending and -receiving behavior can be explained by personal characteristics as well as migration characteristics. Origin country proves to be an important predictor. Online feedback is in most cases direct feedback to existing social ties but may also concern indirect feedback concerning latent ties. Receiving online feedback correlates significantly with non-migrants' self-perceived migration likeliness, indicating that online feedback indeed affects subsequent migration. This does not always lead to more migration movements because online feedback may also be negative and migration-undermining.