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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Porismita Borah

The current study has three main purposes: (1) replicate results from prior framing effects studies on social media. To do so, the study examines the influence of news…

Abstract

Purpose

The current study has three main purposes: (1) replicate results from prior framing effects studies on social media. To do so, the study examines the influence of news frames (free speech vs. public order) on participants' attitudes toward an alt-right rally (2) expand prior research by examining the emotional reaction of participants to these frames and (3) probe the moderating effects of face-to-face heterogenous talk and heterogenous social media feeds.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from theoretical concepts such as competitive framing, emotions and heterogeneity, the study uses a randomized online experiment. The study examines a conversation in a Twitter thread that includes both free speech and public order frames in the comments to the thread. The total number of participants was 275.

Findings

The results show that free speech versus public order frame did not impact attitudes of the participants toward the alt-right rally. Findings also show the significant main effects of free speech and public order frames and the interaction of exposure to heterogeneity on emotional reactions of outrage and anger toward the alt-right rally. These findings suggest that framing research needs to take social media features into consideration for a complete picture of framing effects on social media.

Originality/value

Using a classic framing effects experiment, the study includes variables relevant to social media discussions on Twitter and examined the moderating effects of heterogeneity on emotional reactions. In addition, one of the important methodological contributions of the current study are the framing manipulations for an externally valid experimental design.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 March 2022

Yan Su, Porismita Borah and Xizhu Xiao

This study has three main purposes: (1) to investigate the association between social media news use and misperceptions about COVID-19; (2) to explore the mediating role…

Abstract

Purpose

This study has three main purposes: (1) to investigate the association between social media news use and misperceptions about COVID-19; (2) to explore the mediating role of homogeneous online discussion; (3) and to understand whether the extent to which one perceives themselves as media-literate could moderate the relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an online survey and collected data through Amazon Mechanical Turk. A total of 797 participants aged 18 and above completed the survey. The average age of the respondents is 38.40 years (SD = 12.31), and 41.2% were female. In terms of party identification, 30.8% were reported leaning toward Republicans; 53.7% leaned toward Democrats, and 15.4% were reported neutral.

Findings

Results from a moderated mediation model show that social media news use is positively associated with misperceptions about the COVID-19. Moreover, homogeneous online discussion was a significant mediator of the relationship between social media news use and misperceptions about COVID-19. Further, self-perceived media literacy (SPML) significantly moderated the main and indirect effects between social media news use and COVID-19 misperceptions, such that the associations became weaker among those with higher SPML.

Originality/value

Findings provide insights into the significance of online information sources, discussion network heterogeneity and media literacy education. Although there have been many studies on misinformation, prior research has not examined these relationships, which may help provide solutions to cope with misinformation.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-06-2021-0305

Details

Online Information Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2022

Porismita Borah, Kate Keib, Bryan Trude, Matthew Binford, Bimbisar Irom and Itai Himelboim

For many, the sole source for news content is social media, where passionate opinions are posted at an alarming speed. These opinions can cross the line from differing…

Abstract

Purpose

For many, the sole source for news content is social media, where passionate opinions are posted at an alarming speed. These opinions can cross the line from differing opinions shared in a public forum onto uncivil dialogue and even hate speech. Such online discourse threatens democratic values and creates a hostile environment. The purpose of this paper is to examine such incivility using the case of four congresswomen known as “The Squad”.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a content analysis examining 20,563 replies to tweets sent by the four congresswomen. The social media data analysis and library, Brandwatch, was used to aggregate tweets posted by the four representatives, as well as all the replies posted to these tweets. The replies were coded to understand the types of incivility against each of the four congresswomen, whether the topics of a tweet can predict the types of incivility received in response, and the impact of Trump's tweet against the congresswomen.

Findings

The study findings show that the majority of replies contained uncivil language. The most common types of incivility are related to name-calling, stereotypes, threats to individual rights and vulgarity. Tweets about immigration and the Muslim ban, as well as tweets with negative tones received more replies. Following Donald Trump's Twitter attack on the representatives, replies to the congresswomen's tweets almost doubled. Mainly two types of incivility were observed to have increased significantly – the use of stereotypes and threats to individual rights.

Originality/value

The study examines incivility on Twitter against four black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) congresswomen as an exploratory case to observe and understand the growing phenomenon of uncivil language which feeds a polarized society and threatens democratic values. “The Squad” is more than an isosteric case study. It captures key changes in American politics. In the context of democratic discourse, the attack by the former president on these congresswomen and the response on social media address key issues of gender, religion and race in the United States.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Kyle John Lorenzano, Miles Sari, Colin Harrell Storm, Samuel Rhodes and Porismita Borah

Political polarization and incivility manifested itself online throughout the 2016 US presidential election. The purpose of this paper is to understand how features of…

Abstract

Purpose

Political polarization and incivility manifested itself online throughout the 2016 US presidential election. The purpose of this paper is to understand how features of social media platforms (e.g. reacting, sharing) impacted the online public sphere during the 2016 election.

Design/methodology/approach

After conducting in-depth interviews with politically interested young people and applying deductive coding procedures to transcripts of the interviews, Dahlberg’s (2004) six normative conditions for the public sphere were used to empirically examine this interview data.

Findings

While some participants described strategies for productive political discussion on Social Networking Sites (SNS) and a willingness to use them to discuss politics, many users’ experiences largely fall short of Dahlberg’s (2004) normative criteria for the public sphere.

Research limitations/implications

The period in which these interviews were conducted in could have contributed to a more pessimistic view of political discussion in general.

Practical implications

Scholars and the public should recognize that the affordances of SNS for political discussion are not distributed evenly between different platforms, both for the sake of empirical studies of SNS moving forward and the state of democratic deliberation.

Originality/value

Although previous research has examined online and SNS-based political discussion as it relates to the public sphere, few attempts have been made understand how specific communicative practices or platform-specific features of SNS have contributed to or detracted from a healthy public sphere.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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