Winning Proposal to the Converse-Miller Scholar's Fund: 2017 Competition

Project Title: What Makes You 'Like'?: Emotionality and Engagement with News Content in Social Media

Faculty Sponsor: Brian Weeks

Graduate Student: Dan Hiaeshutter-Rice

Project Description

In the last presidential election, more news and political information was shared by individual users on social media than ever before, further cementing the importance of social media in political campaigns. Indeed, there is emerging evidence that political information shared in social media increasingly influences both the volume of citizens’ exposure to political news and the nature of the content they see. In particular, Facebook and Twitter are now instrumental in the production of what we term the political information market, or the scope of information about politics that is available for citizens to consume. Despite the increasingly important role of social media in political information exposure, there are many unanswered questions regarding what information is available on social media as well as how individuals react and interact with that information. This project will leverage a unique and comprehensive data set to address these important, lingering theoretical questions.