Shareworthiness And Motivated Reasoning In Hyper-Partisan News Sharing Behavior On Twitter

This study examines news sharing behavior on Twitter:

While news sharing by ordinary social media users has received growing attention, hyper-partisan news sharing, which has been closely associated with misinformation circulation, has received less attention. In this study, we investigate hyper-partisan news sharing from two perspectives: (1) the features that make hyper-partisan news share-worthy, as well as (2) the user motivations that drive the sharing process. We scrutinize one week’s content from as it was shared on Twitter. Through both manual coding of news content and semi-automated clustering of Twitter account descriptions, we find that human interest and conflict in news stories drive the sharing process from a content perspective. Concerning the user perspective, we find partial support for a sharing hypothesis based on motivated reasoning, which indicates that users are more likely to share hyper-partisan news stories if these align with their own political opinions.

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