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Meyer Speakman

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Meyer Speakman

  1. 1. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 1 The Spiral of Silence’s Persistent Effect on Online News Forums Quieting the commenters
  2. 2. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 2 The Spiral of Silence •Noelle-Neumann (1974) •Not in the majority •Today?
  3. 3. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 3 Key questions •Does the Spiral of Silence exist online? •Anonymity •Incivility •What effect does journalism have? •Public forum •Moderation
  4. 4. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 4 The Survey •1,000 people across the U.S. •Do you read the comments and comment yourself? •Why or why not?
  5. 5. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 5 Findings •Spiral of Silence persists •Why? Mean (out of 5) •Story’s POV conflicts 3.11 •Comments POV conflicts 3.17 •Don’t feel strongly about topic 2.70 •Comments have aggressive tone 18% 25%57% Never Often Rarely
  6. 6. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 6 Findings •What predicts if people feel the spiral? (and can journalists have any effect?) •Age •How important anonymity is to them •Measures to eliminate anonymity •Credibility through comments •Community through comments
  7. 7. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 7 Findings •What predicts if they will comment? (and how can journalists help?) •Perceived Spiral of Silence •Procedures to eliminate anonymity •Noticing Moderation •Community through comments
  8. 8. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 8 Implications •Get involved in comments •That readers notice is most important. •Don’t try too hard. •Anonymity doesn’t solve the spiral. •Communities overlook a lot.
  9. 9. HansK.Meyer(meyerh@ohio.edu) BurtonSpeakman(bs634313@ohio.edu) ISOJ2016 9 Thank you! •Hans K. Meyer •meyerh@ohio.edu •Burton Speakman •bs634313@ohio.edu

Editor's Notes

  • When NN developed the theory, people rode trains and talked. Well, at least some did. Some might have been afraid to share their views, especially if their views were not in line with the majority.
    How does this apply today? Does anyone even talk on trains anymore? Or are they all staring intently at the screens in their pockets?
  • SoS online – Anonymity could help, but incivility, which is far too common online, could hurt. Even if no one knows your name, would you want to participate in an uncivil forum?
    Who’s job is it to ensure opinions are shared? Journalists, according to the Elements of Journalism
  • Asked them to focus on their daily newspaper website as the best way to bring the two together. Do how people approach comments at the end of news stories, which describe some of the issues that can be more divisive, help determine if the SoS still exists?
    Can journalists make a difference in eliminating the spiral, if it does exist?

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