Is Facebook Eroding the Public Agenda? Evidence from Survey and Web-Tracking Data

Ana S. Cardenal, Carol Galais*, Silvia Majó-Vázquez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Preserving a common public agenda positively affects social integration, minimizing social cleavages and polarization. Although social media are known for fragmenting the media environment, research has not devoted much attention to their effect on the public agenda. This article addresses whether consuming news through Facebook shapes individual agendas that diverge from the set of most important problems (MIPs) as perceived by the general public. Our research design combines survey and Web-tracking data to analyze how Facebook-referred news consumption influences individual consumers' agendas. We find that when Facebook is a relevant news referral, people are less likely to mention the top MIPs for a representative sample of the Spanish population. We discuss the implications of our findings for the public agenda.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)589-608
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019

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