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Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2633-3732
  • E-ISSN: 2633-3740

Abstract

During the 2016 US presidential primary debate cycle, CBS displayed tweets alongside presidential candidates on-screen. Using the elaboration likelihood model and social identity theory, the current study reveals the incorporation of Twitter comments and metrics may have hindered normative outcomes of debate viewing. A mixed-method approach consisting of content analysis and an eye-tracking intervention was used to understand the effects of including socially networked information in televised debates. Findings show that including information from social media on-screen appeared to displace elaborative energy, limiting what viewers learned about candidate policies, and leaving them feeling disillusioned about politics. Polarization seemed to increase, while viewing tweets on-screen also related to being less persuaded by candidates. The inclusion of on-screen social media visuals during televised debates may overwhelm the viewer’s ability to process and retain democratic information.

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2024-03-06
2024-06-14
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