The message and the medium: an experimental evaluation of the effects of Twitter commentary on campaign messages
Social media are an increasingly important communication tool in political campaigns, yet there is much to learn about how communication effects might differ for these platforms. In contrast to traditional media outlets, messengers often do not fully control their message on social media; rather, the audience often receive the candidate message along with comments and reactions, commonly uncivil ones. Using a survey experiment, we examine the persuasion implications of audience comments on candidate tweets. We find that commentary on tweets becomes part of the communicated message, with mostly positive comments offering a slight persuasive boost, and mostly negative comments offering a larger negative effect.
Dounoucos, VA; Hillygus, DS; Carlson, C
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