Counter-Framing Effects of User Comments

Jiawei Liu, Douglas M. McLeod


Past research shows that news frames shape audience reactions to news messages. As individuals receive more of their news online, where many news messages are accompanied by opportunities for audience members to comment, it has become important to investigate how such comments influence message framing effects, especially when they compete with the original news article. Therefore, this study examines the framing effects of user comments opposing a news editorial by directly challenging the editorial or featuring an alternative perspective to view the issue in focus. Findings demonstrate that the nature and tone of counter-framed comments can influence the editorial’s impact.


framing effects, counter-framing, user comments, incivility

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