The Dynamics of Message Selection in Online Political Discussion Forums: Self-Segregation or Diverse Exposure?

Hyunjin Song, Jaeho Cho, Grace A. Benefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


While the online sphere is believed to expose individuals to a wider array of viewpoints, a worry about self-reinforcing political echo chambers also persists. We join this scholarly debate by focusing on individual motives for political discussion and dyadic- and structural-level mechanisms that can drive one’s message-selection decision in online discussion settings. Using unobtrusively logged behavioral data matched with panel survey responses, our temporal exponential random graph model (TERGM) analysis indicates that message selection in online discussion settings is largely driven by the similarity of one’s candidate evaluative criteria and various endogenous structural factors, whereas the impact of overt partisan preference in shaping message selection is much more limited than is often assumed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-152
Number of pages28
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Jong Hyuk Lee (School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Kyung Hee University, South Korea) and Dr. Yun Jung Choi (Division of Communication and Media, Ewha Womans University, South Korea) for making original data available for this article. They also thank Dr. Jakob-Moritz Eberl and Dr. Loes Aaldering for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of the article. The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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