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Block, Hide or Follow – Personal News Curation Practices on Social Media

Block, Hide or Follow –  Personal News Curation Practices on Social Media

In this paper, Lisa Merten analyses how users curate their news consumption on social media by specifically following or blocking news accounts.

She draws on the data set collected by the Reuters Digital News Survey, which includes information on the online news usage behaviour of over 70,000 respondents in 36 different countries.

Her paper was published as an open access article in the journal Digital Journalism. You can download the article free of charge (PDF).

Results at a glance
  • Depending on the country, between 40 and 80 percent of social media news users state that they curate their news repertoire.
  • Users who are already interested in news also curate their repertoire on social media in order to see more news there (news enhancing curating).
  • News limiting curating can be found among people who specifically avoid news on other media sources.
  • However, even people who curate limited news usage say they use more media brands than those who do not personalise their social media news menu. They have at least one left-oriented and one right-oriented source in their repertoire.
 
Abstract
The consumption of news increasingly takes place in the context of social media, where users can personalize their repertoire of news through personal news curation practices such as following a journalistic outlet on Twitter or blocking news content from a Facebook friend. This article examines the prevalence and predictors of curation practices that have the potential to boost or limit social media news exposure. Results from a representative online survey distributed across thirty-six countries demonstrate that more than half of all news users on social media engage in such practices. Significant predictors of news-boosting curation are news interest and the willingness to engage in other news-related activities on social media. News-limiting practices on social media are linked to general news avoidance and, in the case of the US, political extremism, which might decrease the chances of incidental news exposure. News-boosting and news-limiting curation practices relate to a wider and more diverse repertoire of news sources online. Personal news curation practices can be conceptualized as forms of news engagement that have the potential to complement or counteract algorithmic news selection or partisan selective exposure, yet, these practices can also solidify existing divides in news use related to interest and avoidance.
 
Merten, L. (2020): Block, Hide or Follow – Personal News Curation Practices on Social Media. In: Digital Journalism. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2020.1829978
 

(17.11.2020)

Block, Hide or Follow –  Personal News Curation Practices on Social Media

In this paper, Lisa Merten analyses how users curate their news consumption on social media by specifically following or blocking news accounts.

She draws on the data set collected by the Reuters Digital News Survey, which includes information on the online news usage behaviour of over 70,000 respondents in 36 different countries.

Her paper was published as an open access article in the journal Digital Journalism. You can download the article free of charge (PDF).

Results at a glance
  • Depending on the country, between 40 and 80 percent of social media news users state that they curate their news repertoire.
  • Users who are already interested in news also curate their repertoire on social media in order to see more news there (news enhancing curating).
  • News limiting curating can be found among people who specifically avoid news on other media sources.
  • However, even people who curate limited news usage say they use more media brands than those who do not personalise their social media news menu. They have at least one left-oriented and one right-oriented source in their repertoire.
 
Abstract
The consumption of news increasingly takes place in the context of social media, where users can personalize their repertoire of news through personal news curation practices such as following a journalistic outlet on Twitter or blocking news content from a Facebook friend. This article examines the prevalence and predictors of curation practices that have the potential to boost or limit social media news exposure. Results from a representative online survey distributed across thirty-six countries demonstrate that more than half of all news users on social media engage in such practices. Significant predictors of news-boosting curation are news interest and the willingness to engage in other news-related activities on social media. News-limiting practices on social media are linked to general news avoidance and, in the case of the US, political extremism, which might decrease the chances of incidental news exposure. News-boosting and news-limiting curation practices relate to a wider and more diverse repertoire of news sources online. Personal news curation practices can be conceptualized as forms of news engagement that have the potential to complement or counteract algorithmic news selection or partisan selective exposure, yet, these practices can also solidify existing divides in news use related to interest and avoidance.
 
Merten, L. (2020): Block, Hide or Follow – Personal News Curation Practices on Social Media. In: Digital Journalism. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2020.1829978
 

(17.11.2020)

About this publication

Year of publication

2020

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