Can Negative Comments on News Stories from Social Media Affect Perception?

Alexander Moe (Department of Journalism, Broadcasting, and Public Relations), PhD, along with several collaborators recently published an empirical study in Electronic News, the official journal of the Broadcast and Mobile News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
The researchers observed via an experimental study that user comments on news stories via Facebook enhance negative perceptions of bias and diminish perceptions of favorability.
The project also took into account the increasingly popular use of fact and/or knowledge-based assessments that can be administered to online newsreaders prior to gaining access to an outlets commentary section, as a means to alleviate online incivility. However, this research further observed that such assessment questionnaires may in fact induce reactance among users. 
This study was funded by a $9,925 grant that the collaborators were recently awarded from The Waterhouse Family Institute at Villanova University.


Gearhart, S., Comen, I., Moe, A., & Brammer, S. (2022). Online News & Hostile Media Bias in the COVID-19 Social Media Environment. Electronic News. doi/10.1177/19312431221103127

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Posted: August 30, 2022