Left- and Right-Leaning News Organizations Use Negative Emotional Content and Elicit User Engagement Similarly.
ABSTRACT: Negativity has historically dominated news content; however, little research has examined how news organizations use affect on social media, where content is generally positive. In the current project we ask a few questions: Do news organizations on Twitter use negative or positive language and which type of affect garners more engagement on social media? Does the political orientation of news organizations impact the affect expressed and engagement tweets receive on social media? The goal of this project is to examine these questions by investigating tweets of 24 left- and 20 right-leaning news organizations (140,358 tweets). Results indicated that negative affect was expressed more than positive affect. Additionally, negativity predicted engagement with news organizations' tweets, but positivity did not. Finally, there were no differences in affect between left- and right-leaning political orientations. Overall, it appears that for news organizations, negativity is more frequent and more impactful than positivity.
Supplementary informationThe online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42761-021-00046-w.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC8364833 | BioStudies |