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Partisan Selective Engagement: Evidence from Facebook
Hamburg Media School.
Hamburg Media School, Department of Media Economic.
Bowdoin College, Department of Economics.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the effects of variation in “congeniality” of news on Facebook user engagement (likes, shares, and comments). We compile an original data set of Facebook posts by 84 German news outlets on politicians that were investigated for criminal offenses from January 2012 to June 2017. We also construct an index of each outlet’s media slant by comparing the language of the outlet with that of the main political parties, which allows us to measure the congeniality of the posts. We find evidence that, for each of our measures of engagement, users engaged with congenial posts more than with uncongenial ones. The within-outlet, within-topic design allows us to infer that the greater engagement with congenial news is likely driven by psychological and social factors, rather than a desire for accurate or otherwise instrumental information as is often assumed in the media bias theory literature.

Keywords [en]
media bias, media slant, political immunity, social media, user engagement, facebook, polarization
National Category
Economics Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41754DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3102249OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41754DiVA, id: diva2:1252775
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2018-10-02

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Garz, Marcel

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  • apa
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf