Article

Social Media Filtering and Democracy: Effects of Social Media News Use and Uncivil Political Discussions on Social Media Unfriending

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Abstract

In todays’ progressively polarized society, social media users are increasingly exposed to blatant uncivil comments, dissonant views, and controversial news contents, both from their peers and the media organizations they follow. Recent scholarship on selective avoidance suggests that citizens when exposed to contentious stimuli tend to either neglect, avoid, or by-pass such content, a practice scholarly known as users’ filtration tactics or unfriending. Drawing upon a nationally representative panel survey from the United States (W1 = 1,338/W2 = 511) fielded in 2019/2020, this study seeks to a) examine whether social media news use is associated to exposure to uncivil political discussions, and 2) explore the ways in which both constructs causally affect users’ unfriending behavior. Finally, the study investigates the contingent moderating role of uncivil political discussion in energizing the relationship between social media use for news and unfriending. Our findings first find support for the idea that social media news use directly activates citizens’ uncivil discussions and unfriending, while uncivil political discussion directly triggers unfriending behavior and significantly contributes to intensify the effect of social media news use over citizens’ unfriending levels. These findings add to current conversations about the potential motivations and deleterious effects of social media filtering in contemporary democracies.

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... Social media news filtering uses algorithmic filtering to display only such particular information to the users which are needed by the users (Goyanes et al., 2021b). These algorithms present the information for the users after its classification, association, and filtration of the information (Rader and Gray, 2015). ...
... Moreover, social media companies use algorithms by an automated process, and the users are unable to control these algorithms. According to Goyanes et al. (2021b), the users who dislike an overload of information on social media require tools to filter out irrelevant information from their feed. Kapoor et al. (2017) stated that the users tend to rely on news articles shared by their friends on social media rather than from the news companies. ...
... Moreover, the users need reliable and credible information; hence, they either avoid news on social media or filter it (Ahmadi et al., 2021). A study undertaken by Goyanes et al. (2021b) found that news overload increases news exposure which develops the need for news among the users, but too much news exposure creates frustration, anxiety, tiredness, and loss of control. Such reactions damage the mental health of the users; hence, they prefer to avoid social media news or filter the news. ...
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Article
In the present era of information technology, people tend to seek out news to enhance their current knowledge and awareness and to gain literacy. The reliance on seeking out news and relevant information has become very necessary to accomplish personal and organizational objectives. The present study has undertaken an inquiry to investigate the impact of social media news overload on news avoidance and news filtering with the mediating and moderating mechanisms of the need for news and media literacy, respectively. For this purpose, data were obtained from 358 Chinese social media users through the aid of survey forms. The data obtained were then analyzed through Smart-PLS software. The statistical technique used for analysis is structural equation modeling (SEM) to determine the validity of the proposed hypotheses. The results of the study indicated that social media news overload has a significant effect on news avoidance, the need for news, and news filtering behavior. It was also observed that the need for news had a significant impact on news avoidance. In addition to this, it was also revealed that the need for news significantly mediated the relationship between social media news overload and news avoidance; however, it did not mediate the relationship between social media news overload and news filtering. Lastly, it was identified that media literacy significantly moderated the relationship between the need for news and news avoidance and it did not moderate the relationship between the need for news and news filtering behavior. This study has made important theoretical contributions by advancing the current literature in terms of the empirical evidence that indicates a significant relationship between social media news overload, news avoidance, and news filtering. Practically, this study contributed by emphasizing the need to encourage and train people to use strategies to seek relevant news in a vast repository of information available through information technology.
... Uncivil discussion measures the frequency individuals engage in uncivil online discussion with others based on a scale from Goyanes et al. (2021). Participants were asked how often (1 = never; 10 = all the time) they talked about politics or public affairs online with the following people: (a) People who do NOT discuss politics in a civil manner, and (b) people who have insulted/intimidated/threatened you (W1 Spear-Brown = .89; ...
... Adapted from Goyanes et al. (2021), offline uncivil discussion measures the frequency individuals engage in uncivil discussion with others offline. Participants were asked how often (1 = never to 10 = all the time) they talked about politics or public affairs offline with the following people: (a) people who do NOT discuss politics in a civil manner, and (b) people who have insulted/intimidated/threatened you (W1 Spearman-Brown = .87‚ ...
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In recent years, there has been an increased academic interest revolving around the beneficial or pernicious effects of ideological extremity and (uncivil) political discussion over democracy. For instance, citizens’ ideological predispositions and higher levels of political discussion have been linked with a more active and vibrant political life. In fact, ideological extremity and uncivil discussion foster institutionalized political engagement. However, less explored in the literature remains whether such polarization and uncivil discussions may be related to unlawful political behavior such as illegal protest. This study contends that one of the main drivers of illegal protest behavior lies in online uncivil political discussion, specifically through the normalization and activation of further incivility. We tested this through a two-wave panel data drawn from a diverse US sample and cross-sectional, lagged, and autoregressive regression models. Mediation analysis was also conducted to test whether uncivil online discussion mediated the relationship between frequency of online political discussion and illegal protest engagement. Overall, we found that illegal protest was particularly associated with online uncivil discussion, while ideological extremity and other forms of online and offline discussions seemed to have no effect on unlawful protest over time.
... While some scholars have investigated social media usage with a Goffmanian 1 focus (Hogan, 2010), intrigued by the unparalleled possibilities of controlling online self-presentation, others have highlighted the challenges social media pose in terms of managing one's audience and social context (Papacharissi, 2010). Platforms afford distinct combinations of weak and strong ties (Goyanes et al., 2021), affecting how people perceive and deal with potential audiences (e.g., Lu & Hampton, 2017;Velasquez & Rojas, 2017). The ways in which social media are used are inextricably tied to the techno-economic aspects of platforms (Helmond, 2015;van Dijck, 2009, p. 55). ...
... "Emerson" referred to spaces such as Facebook when describing spaces of "publicness" online. Facebook is one example of a social media that provides a variety of close and weak social ties, shown to contribute to selective avoidance and filtering mechanisms (Goyanes et al., 2021). Interviewees frequently circled back to an uncertainty and a lack of control as given features of such online "open" spaces. ...
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This study emphasizes social media natives’ utilization of social media for maintaining social relationships through an active negotiation and construction of space. A continuous attentiveness to social space is connected to features of Gesellschaft in social media: the utilization of people’s data traces for economic purposes. The social media natives’ online activities are still tied to the market rationales of social media corporations, however, as platforms both facilitate and profit from their practices. This study proposes the concept of “digital Gemeinschaft 2.0,” through examining Rich Ling’s employment of Ferdinand Tönnies’ Gesellschaft (market society) and Gemeinschaft (fellowship), when conceptualizing the “digital Gemeinschaft.” Drawing on 11 in-depth interviews with social media natives in Norway, it identifies three recurring themes, reflecting (1) a Gesellschaft attentiveness, (2) continued Gemeinschaft, with occasional public orientations, and (3) information gathering and learning without direct public partaking. The digital Gemeinschaft 2.0 concept hence highlights a continued tension between Gesellschaft and digital Gemeinschaft in social media as both medium and (social and public) space.
... Incivility is not only seen in political campaigns, such as alleged Incivility against "The Squad" mean-spirited commercials (e.g. Stryker et al., 2016), but is becoming increasingly common in online discussions Johnson, 2018) and on social media sites (Goyanes et al., 2021). Incivility on Twitter is a rising trend even causing some social media users to leave these sites or lessen time spent there (Goyanes et al., 2021;Maity et al., 2018). ...
... Stryker et al., 2016), but is becoming increasingly common in online discussions Johnson, 2018) and on social media sites (Goyanes et al., 2021). Incivility on Twitter is a rising trend even causing some social media users to leave these sites or lessen time spent there (Goyanes et al., 2021;Maity et al., 2018). ...
Article
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.
... Minority concerns and topics frequently discussed or shared by underprivileged socioeconomic groups may be less well-known to many people due to these filtering processes. Unfriending strategies and algorithmic screening might also lead to the formation of isolated groups based on opinion-reinforcing arguments and extreme discourses, which may lead to the creation of hate speech (Barberá, 2014;Joan, 2015;Zúñiga, 2015;Bakshy et al., 2015;Skoric et al., 2018;Goyanes et al., 2021). ...
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... 2. Theoretical framework and empirical model 2.1 Theory of reasoned action Social media users are frequently exposed to various contents and insights which are shared and created by people from all society levels (Goyanes et al., 2021). In some cases, people will follow the opinion of a leader who publishes original and unique contents through the social media and which will potentially influence further attitudes (Casal o et al., 2020). ...
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... Adapted from and modified prior research (Goyanes et al., 2021), three items were used to assess SMIS. The respondents were asked to indicate the frequencies with which they use Weibo, WeChat, and Zhihu, three popular social media platforms in China, to seek news information about COVID-19, via a 5-point Likert scale (1 = never, 5 = several times a day) (M = 1.96, ...
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... Beyond the explanatory power of the novel information individuals acquire to promote political attitude change, the persuasive process may also hinge on a myriad of mechanisms, including news trust, peers' news suggestions, algorithms curation process, or/and individual filtration tactics (Fletcher & Nielsen, 2018;Goyanes et al., 2021;Hermida et al., 2012;Messing & Westwood, 2014). All these agents may also be responsible for activating a cognitive process that prompts users to reconsider their political attitudes in time. ...
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... This role is more extensive in the era of widespread social media today. So it must be noted that there is a "mediating" or even a "filtering" effect between the formation of personal perception and real events (Feezell, 2018;Goyanes et al., 2021). In the end, this perception will become the basis of judging ability of people in face of future public health emergencies. ...
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... Having not been designed to inform or educate, and in the absence of a regulatory framework or any other mechanism of checking the role of digital media as information providers or asking them to be accountable for their actions (Cave, 2019), findings showing a link between social media use and lower levels of political knowledge (Cacciatore et al., 2018) are not surprising. Getting news from social media was found to be related with uncivil discussions and unfriending, that is shutting down disagreeing voices, contributing to polarization (Goyanes et al., 2021). ...
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With the advances in interpersonal communication of the “Web 2.0” era, questions about the importance of civility are perhaps more important than ever. Mass digital interaction between strangers has become an everyday occurrence, bound by few behavioral norms. I argue that the widespread presence of incivility in online political communication limits the deliberative potential of online interactions. To test this hypothesis, I manipulate exposure to uncivil political discourse in an online discussion forum. I find that exposure to disagreeable uncivil political talk induces feelings of anger and aversion, which in turn reduces satisfaction with the message board discourse. On the other hand, exposure to like-minded incivility increases the use of uncivil behavior in political comments by message board posters. Notably, these effects mainly occur when histrionic, emotional incivility is present. I discuss why like-minded and disagreeable incivility have different effects, why and reflect on what the presence of incivility means for online political discourse.
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Using original national survey data, we examine how social media use affects individuals' discussion network heterogeneity and their level of civic engagement. We also investigate the moderating role of personality traits (i.e., extraversion and openness to experiences) in this association. Results support the notion that use of social media contributes to heterogeneity of discussion networks and activities in civic life. More importantly, personality traits such as extraversion and openness to experiences were found to moderate the influence of social media on discussion network heterogeneity and civic participation, indicating that the contributing role of social media in increasing network heterogeneity and civic engagement is greater for introverted and less open individuals.
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Social network sites (SNS) like Facebook allow users to add friends from a variety of contexts to a single general-purpose social network. The variety of friend types that gather on the site can lead to context collapse where connections from a variety of context are grouped in a single collection. This research examines the friend types who are commonly unfriended and examines two particular friend types in detail to determine differences between these types of friends and the general population. The most common type of friend who is unfriended is the high school friend (18.6%), followed by other (uncategorized), friend of a friend, and work friend. These four friend types account for the majority (53.7%) of unfriending decisions. High school friends are unfriended for making online posts that are polarizing and for posting too frequently about unimportant topics. Work-related friends are commonly unfriended for engaging in disliked offline behavior and are not typically unfriended for their posting behavior.
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This paper examines diversity in online news reporting and explanatory factors that shape news production. The analysis is based on online news from six countries (the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and Italy), comparing online-only news sites and legacy media. The analysis shows that most online media reported in a diverse way, comprising multiple topics and actors. Furthermore, event-driven news journalism explains the occurrence of high diversity in news reporting. Available resources and the intensiveness of online reporting (the extent as well as the editing style) also account for diversity. We draw from these findings to make a contribution to research on diversity in online news and to comparative communication studies. Qualitative comparative analysis is used to reflect on the direction and meaning of changes in journalistic practices in the current media environment.
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This article takes up the popular argument that much online discussion is toxic and hence harmful to democracy, and argues that the pervasiveness of incivility is not incompatible with democratically relevant political talk. Instead of focusing on the tone of political talk, scholars interested in understanding the extent to which digital platforms threaten democratic values should focus on expressions of intolerance. I demonstrate the validity of this conceptual model by investigating the discursive and contextual features associated with incivility and intolerance online in the context of public comments in two different platforms—news websites and Facebook. Results show that incivility and intolerance occur in meaningfully different discussion settings. Whereas incivility is associated with features that reveal meaningful discursive engagement, such as justified opinion expression and engagement with disagreement, intolerance is likely to occur in homogeneous discussions about minorities and civil society—exactly when it can hurt democracy the most.
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Concerns are raised repeatedly about the uncivil and simplistic way in which politicians often express their ideas. This political communication style runs counter to deliberative democratic virtues such as respectful interactions and well-justified arguments. Its use is therefore problematic from a normative point of view, yet there are indications that it is an effective communication style to persuade citizens. Two survey experiments – text and audio – were developed to investigate the effects of uncivil communication and simplistic argumentation on political trust and on persuasive power in political election debates. The results show that 1) uncivil communication lowers political trust and is slightly less convincing than civil communication, 2) simplistic argumentation, i.e. political arguments presented in ill- or non-justified ways, does not affect political trust and is not more persuasive than well-justified argumentation, and 3) the strongest violation of social norms, i.e. a combined use of uncivil communication and simplistic argumentation, decreases both trust in the political candidate and persuasive power. Interestingly, politically cynical citizens and citizens who do not value inclusionary debates react differently to uncivil communication and simplistic argumentation: their level of trust does not decline and they are persuaded slightly more by simplistic arguments expressed in uncivil ways.
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This article explores the Facebook unfriending of users from a majority group by members of a minority group, focusing on Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel. Indeed, this is the first study to focus on power differentials among Facebook users in the context of unfriending. The article thus adds depth to our understanding of unfriending, while also shedding light on the experience of social media use from the perspective of an oppressed minority. Based on semi-structured in-depth interviews with twenty ’48 Palestinians (Palestinian citizens of Israel), we present various triggers for unfriending (mainly, encounters with racism and surveillance), and show that Palestinians’ stories of unfriending Jewish Israelis are sometimes about punching up and sometimes about stepping away. However, while unfriending is broadly considered an apt response to abuse, it also distances Palestinians from centers of power in Israel. This suggests an important way in which social media reproduce inequality.
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Journalists, scholars, and citizens have raised concerns regarding the high share of incivility in comment sections of news outlets. The current study surveyed members of the social movement #ichbinhier, which aims at collectively countering uncivil comments to cultivate a civil discussion atmosphere in comment sections. We root the activities of #ichbinhier as corrective action and identify the determinants of the members’ engagement by integrating research on bystander behavior and collective action. The findings of our survey show that factors pertaining to individual skills, perceived responsibility, and expected benefits relate to the members’ likelihood to engage against uncivil online comments. Regarding factors derived from collective action research, group efficacy and knowledge of the rules and structures of the movement account for higher levels of engagement. These results shed light on the factors that motivate and inhibit #ichbinhier members—and, potentially, Facebook users in general—to engage against uncivil comments.
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Meta-theoretical focus is given to how communication researchers are approaching and hypothesizing moderation. A moderation typology is offered and an evaluation of the field’s common practices for positing moderation reveals an inability to discern between three overarching classifications (Contributory, Contingent, Cleaved). A content analysis of eight communication journals reveals moderation hypotheses lacking a level of precision that can best aid the field’s knowledge generation. In addition, vague hypothesizing is leaving communication researchers vulnerable to the commitment of Type III error (i.e., correctly rejecting a null hypothesis for the wrong reason). Recommendations are provided in an effort to improve the field’s conceptualization and presentation of moderation.
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This article examines exposure to political disagreement on social media and user filtration in response to it. Popular arguments suggest that social media sites prevent exposure to political disagreement either through algorithmic filtration or selective affiliation. Another popular argument says that when users are exposed to political disagreement on social media, they filter it from their feeds by “unfriending”/ “unfollowing” or “hiding” the author. We put these narratives to the test by examining (a) the relationship between social media use and exposure to political disagreement and (b) the factors that predict user filtration in response to political disagreement. Results from analysis based on a nationally representative sample of Colombian adults in urban areas show that (a) engagement with news and public affairs content on social media is positively associated with exposure to political disagreement and (b) the amount of disagreement users are exposed to is not related to user filtration in response.
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Using the 2012 presidential election as a case study, this work set out to understand the relationship between negative political advertising and political incivility on Twitter. Drawing on the stimulation hypothesis and the notion that communication with dissimilar others can encourage incivility, it was predicted that (1) heightened levels of negative campaign advertising would be associated with increased citizen activity on Twitter, (2) increased citizen activity would predict online incivility, and (3) that increases in citizen activity would facilitate a positive indirect relationship between negative advertising volume and citizen incivility. This theoretical model was tested using data collected from over 140,000 individual Twitter users located in 206 Designated Market Areas. The results supported the proposed model. Additional analyses further suggested that the relationship between negative political advertising and citizen incivility was conditioned by contextual levels of economic status. These results are discussed in the context of political advertising and democratic deliberation.
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The emergence of social media has changed individuals' information consumption patterns. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of information overload, similarity, and redundancy in unsubscribing information sources from users' information repertoires. In doing so, we randomly selected nearly 7,500 ego networks on Twitter and tracked their activities in 2 waves. A multilevel logistic regression model was deployed to test our hypotheses. Results revealed that individuals (egos) obtain information by following a group of stable users (alters). An ego's likelihood of unfollowing alters is negatively associated with their information similarity, but is positively associated with both information overload and redundancy. Furthermore, relational factors can modify the impact of information redundancy on unfollowing.
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Past research has demonstrated that everyday disrespect on the job (i.e., incivility) is a stressor that undermines personal and professional wellbeing. However, it remains unclear how incivility interferes with target wellbeing, and for whom. To shed light on this process, we investigate how emotional response (both global negative affect and facet-based discrete emotions—namely, anger and guilt) and organizational commitment mediate and moderate (respectively) incivility outcomes. Social Identity Theory and Affective Events Theory frame this work. We tested hypotheses using 2 samples: women working in the Midwest of the United States (N = 419) and women and men working across the United States (N = 479), including coworkers of those women and men (N = 160). We found incivility-driven emotion to mediate personal and professional outcomes, including reduced empowerment and self-esteem and greater job and work withdrawal. Feelings of guilt, but not anger, predicted decreased performance (as rated by coworkers). Significant interactive effects between incivility and commitment also emerged, such that individuals high in commitment reported more negative emotional response—especially guilt—compared to their less committed counterparts. These moderated-mediation results expose a dilemma when it comes to commitment: the people whom organizations value the most, those who are highly committed, are most harmed when interpersonal stressors arise.
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Using 23 novel indicators and a 1,000+ sample representative of a full undergraduate population we examined: how much consensus there was about perceptions of the incivility/civility of various categories of speech/behavior; and whether political incivility is a unidimensional or multidimensional latent construct. Confirmatory factor analyses suggest perceived political incivility is a multidimensional construct. Insulting utterances, deception, and behaviors tending to shut down inclusive ongoing discussion can be treated as distinct, underlying aspects of incivility. More than 75% of respondents viewed all 23 indicators, except issue-oriented attacks, as very, mostly, or somewhat uncivil. If replicated on a representative national sample, standardized indicators of political incivility should be constructed and routinely employed in national surveys of political attitudes and behavior.
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Abstract Despite the potential of online commenting spaces for public deliberation, they are often full of destructive or uncivil and aggressive comments. Based on research on social learning and social influence, we conducted an online experiment to investigate the effects of uncivil comments on readers' cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions. The experiment was built on a one-factorial between-subjects design including four experimental conditions and a control group: Participants were exposed to a news article and six user comments of which zero, one, three, or six were uncivil. Results suggest that exposure to uncivil comments can lead to an increase in readers' hostile cognitions. The effect, however, does not rise with exposure to a higher proportion of incivility. No significant effects were found on hostile emotions or the use of incivility in readers' own comments.
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‘Religion and politics’, as the old saying goes, ‘should never be discussed in mixed company.’And yet fostering discussions that cross lines of political difference has long been a central concern of political theorists. More recently, it has also become a cause célèbre for pundits and civic-minded citizens wanting to improve the health of American democracy. But only recently have scholars begun empirical investigations of where and with what consequences people interact with those whose political views differ from their own. Hearing the Other Side examines this theme in the context of the contemporary United States. It is unique in its effort to link political theory with empirical research. Drawing on her empirical work, Mutz suggests that it is doubtful that an extremely activist political culture can also be a heavily deliberative one.
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Without the experience of disagreement, political communication among citizens loses value and meaning. At the same time, political disagreement and diversity do not always or inevitably survive. This book, accordingly, considers the compelling issue of the circumstances that sustain political diversity, even in politically high stimulus environments where individuals are attentive to politics and the frequency of communication among citizens is correspondingly high. © Robert Huckfeldt, Paul E. Johnson, John Sprague 2004 and Cambridge University Press, 2010.
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This article explores Facebook unfriending during the Israel–Gaza conflict of 2014. We suggest that politically motivated unfriending is a new kind of political gesture. We present an analysis of a survey of 1,013 Jewish Israeli Facebook users. A total of 16% of users unfriended or unfollowed a Facebook friend during the fighting. Unfriending was more prevalent among more ideologically extreme and more politically active Facebook users. Weak ties were most likely to be broken, and respondents mostly unfriended people because they took offense at what they had posted or disagreed with it. Although social network sites may expose people to diverse opinions, precisely by virtue of the many weak ties users have on them, our findings show these ties to be susceptible to dissolution.
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We use national survey data to examine the extent to which various sources of political information expose people to dissimilar political views. We hypothesize that the individual's ability and desire to exercise selective exposure is a key factor in determining whether a given source produces exposure to dissimilar views. Although a lack of diverse perspectives is a common complaint against American news media, we find that individuals are exposed to far more dissimilar political views via news media than through interpersonal political discussants. The media advantage is rooted in the relative difficulty of selectively exposing oneself to those sources of information, as well as the lesser desire to do so, given the impersonal nature of mass media.
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In an effort to clean up user comment sections, news organizations have turned to Facebook, the world's largest social network site, as a way to make users more identifiable and accountable for the content they produce. It is hypothesized that users leaving comments via their Facebook profile will be less likely to engage in uncivil and impolite discussion, even when it comes to discussing politically sensitive and potentially divisive issues. By analysing the content of discussion as it occurs in response to political news content on the Washington Post Facebook, and comparing it to that which occurs on the Washington Post website where users are afforded a relatively high level of anonymity, the present study determines the extent to which Facebook increases the level of civility and impoliteness in an area of political discussion renowned for uncivil and impolite communicative behaviour. In line with earlier theories of social interaction, the paper finds that political discussion on The Washington Post website is significantly more likely to be uncivil than discussion of the same content on the Washington Post Facebook page. Moreover, the incivility and impoliteness on the Washington Post website are significantly more likely to be directed towards other participants in the discussion compared to The Washington Post Facebook page.
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