Investigating individuals' motivations to comment on social media news

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Esselmont, Sydney
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
The present thesis takes an exploratory approach to examine the ways individuals use social media to access news, their perceptions about the quality or homogeneity of their news exposures, and how their exposure to online news and news comments influences their beliefs on a topic. Moreover, this thesis sought to expand on presently available research in this area by examining various motivations to participate in online discussions of news. 520 individuals participated in an online survey. The findings suggest that cognitive factors such as educating others and simplifying complex information to be highly motivating, as well as the presence of controversy in the story or comments. The findings also suggest that the strength of one’s position on a topic can be impacted by their exposure to news, and online platforms such as Facebook can create homogeneous news environments that perpetuate this pattern and increase users motivations to participate.
Motivation , social media , news , Facebook , online participation , Commenting , Dissertations, Academic