Guest researcher seminar, April 18: Does a like make you click?
Does a like make you click?
Effects of social endorsements on political information use during the federal German election campaign 2017
APRIL 18 | 1-3 PM | SOL CENTER A214 | GUEST RESEARCH SEMINAR
News exposure increasingly takes place on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, where citizens can select from an abundance of information available in their newsfeed. Here, political information directly competes with entertainment news and other non-political content for the attention of users. In this social media news environments, social endorsements area distinctive feature. Those additional information – such as the
number of likes an article received - are available for every news item in a newsfeed. Given the prominent visibility and social relevance of such cues for users, social endorsements may alter the way citizens select information on social media. This selection decision is ultimately connected to the questions if social media platforms have the potential to increase exposure to likeminded opinions or rather diversify users’ political worldviews. It is therefore important to explore, how strongly recommendations, likes or popularity measures affect selective exposure decisions on social media.
In this talk, first results of a study conducted before the German federal election in 2017 will be presented. In an online-survey experiment, participants were provided with the exact same news and entertainment posts in a closely mimicked Facebook newsfeed, while type and number of social endorsements were randomly assigned. The setting’s high ecological validity helps to assess the relevance of social endorsements compared to other content cues and gives unique insights in political media exposure patterns of citizens during election campaigns.