Online media use of false news to frame the 2016 trump presidential campaign



Publication Details

Chatfield, A., Reddick, C. & Choi, K. (2017). Online media use of false news to frame the 2016 trump presidential campaign. 18th International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o '17) (pp. 213-222). United States: ACM Digital Library.


U.S. presidential election campaigns witnessed an unprecedented viral false news -A type of misinformation referred to as "factitious information blend" that is motivated to discredit political rivals. Despite the different speculations of factors that might have influenced Donald Trump's surprised victory, empirical and theoretical research on the potential impacts of false news propagated by online news media during election campaigns on influencing voters' attitudes and public opinion is seriously lacking. By drawing on the literature on framing political-effects research and by developing our computational text analytics programs, we addressed questions regarding how online news media used false news to negatively frame the Trump presidential campaign. Our text analytics results indicate that although the negative frames against Trump far outnumbered those against Hillary Clinton, weak frames of unverifiable misinformation might have failed to influence the mass audience, leaving them to the power of Trump's direct political communications via Twitter.

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