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Controlling the MessageNew Media in American Political Campaigns$
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Victoria A. "Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479886357

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479886357.001.0001

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Flaming and Blaming

Flaming and Blaming

The Political Effect of Internet News and Reader “Comments”

(p.270) 13 Flaming and Blaming
Controlling the Message

Brian R. Calfano

NYU Press

This chapter examines the consequences of citizen exposure to “flaming and blaming” in online comments forums. Using an Internet-based experimental research design consisting of an array of media use, emotion, and group perception indicators, the chapter considers how exposure to flaming and blaming rhetoric influence an individual's media consumption. After discussing the identity politics that characterized election campaigns and has been pursued by political candidates—particularly Republicans—in recent election cycles, the chapter analyzes the effect of political messages as presented through the online reader comments positioned below “hard” news articles on Internet websites. It shows that subjects exposed to flaming and blaming have a greater tendency to be engaged with “hard” news stories, display anger, and express intolerance toward outgroups associated with the flaming and blaming comments.

Keywords:   online forums, identity politics, election campaigns, political candidates, political messages, online readers, hard news, Internet, anger

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