Brady et al. (2018) Election Twitter  /

Brady et al. 2018_JEPG_An ideological asymmetry in the diffusion of moralized content among political elites

Date created: | Last Updated:

: DOI | ARK

Creating DOI. Please wait...

Create DOI

Category: Project

Description: Online social networks constitute a major platform for the exchange of moral and political ideas, and political elites increasingly rely on social media platforms to communicate directly with the public. However, little is known about the processes that render some political elites more influential than others when it comes to online communication. Here, we gauge influence of political elites on social media by examining how message factors (characteristics of the communication) interact with source factors (characteristics of elites) to impact the diffusion of elites’ messages through Twitter. We analyzed messages (N = 286,255) sent from federal politicians (Presidential candidates, Senate, House of Representatives) in the year leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election – a period in which Democrats and Republicans sought to maximize their influence over potential voters. Across all types of elites, we found a ‘moral contagion’ effect: elites’ use of moral-emotional language was robustly associated with increases in message diffusion. We also discovered an ideological asymmetry: conservative elites gained greater diffusion when using moral-emotional language compared to liberal elites, even when accounting for extremity of ideology and other source cues. Specific moral emotion expressions related to moral outrage—namely, moral anger and disgust—were particularly impactful for elites across the political spectrum, whereas moral emotion expression related to religion and patriotism were more impactful for conservative elites. These findings help inform the scientific understanding of political propaganda in the digital age, and also the potential antecedents of political polarization that is rapidly growing in American politics.

Files

Loading files...

Citation

Tags

Recent Activity

Loading logs...

OSF does not support the use of Internet Explorer. For optimal performance, please switch to another browser.
Accept
This website relies on cookies to help provide a better user experience. By clicking Accept or continuing to use the site, you agree. For more information, see our Privacy Policy and information on cookie use.
Accept
×

Start managing your projects on the OSF today.

Free and easy to use, the Open Science Framework supports the entire research lifecycle: planning, execution, reporting, archiving, and discovery.