Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

When News Frames Go Viral: A Mixed-Methods Study of Framing Effects on Social Media Sharing

Sun, May 28, 9:30 to 10:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo 204A


Are there framing effects on social media users’ behavior? We hypothesize that generic frames in journalistic content influence what news people share on Facebook and Twitter. Using a mixed-methods design, a quantitative content analysis of a representative sample of 3,500 articles published in six Chilean outlets was combined with a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with digital journalists. After controlling for issue, newsworthiness, informational utility, valence, and a host of other confounds, results show that—in both platforms—a morality frame increases news sharing, whereas a conflict frame decreases it. Emphasizing economic consequences also decreases shares, but only on Facebook. Contrary to expectations, the human interest angle has no discernible effects. The interviews provide additional insights on the nature of framing effects on news sharing. Taken together, the findings highlight the need for adopting a theoretically-driven, mixed-methods approach to studying the behavioral consequences of framing in a social media environment.