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Political predispositions, not popularity: people’s propensity to interact with political content on Facebook

Abstract : Social media users are not just potential consumers of political content they are also potential producers and distributors. In this paper, we test whether political predispositions or the popularity of posts best explains users’ engagement with political content on Facebook. Using a large-scale survey deployed in Denmark, we utilize a 2 × 2 × 3 survey experiment that manipulates the partisan sponsor of a political message, the number of likes attributed to that message, and the nature of the comments attached to that post. Our findings indicate that individuals are most likely to like, comment, and share political content that aligns with their political predispositions, as the choice to like, share and comment political content on Facebook is largely unaffected by likes and comments from other users. Though we recognize the dangers of obstinacy in democratic discourse, we are somewhat assured by these findings, as it shows that those who engage with political content do not follow a blind herd mentality. Publisher's abstract.
Keywords : Social media
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https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03522605
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 11:09:45 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 12:31:38 PM

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Rasmus Pedersen, Nicolas Anspach, Kasper Hansen, Kevin Arceneaux. Political predispositions, not popularity: people’s propensity to interact with political content on Facebook. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), In press, ⟨10.1080/17457289.2021.1952209⟩. ⟨hal-03522605⟩

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