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Restrictive and Corrective Responses to Uncivil User Comments on News Websites: The Influence of Presumed Influence

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An online experiment was conducted to examine how the presumed effects of uncivil news comments on other users would influence perceivers’ intention to engage in restrictive or corrective counteractive measures. The results showed that exposure to uncivil comments reduced social desirability and heightened the presumed impact of the comments on others, which, in turn, promoted individuals’ willingness to support comment censorship (restrictive actions) and engage in comment moderation (corrective actions). The study findings provided empirical evidence for an explanation of the relationship between the presumed media influence on others and behavioral responses.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication date: May 1, 2020

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