Selection Bias of News on Social Media: The Role of Selective Sharing and Avoidance During the Lebanon Uprising
This study examines selection bias on social media during the 2019 Lebanon protests. Based on the theoretical concepts of selective avoidance and selective sharing, the survey of a nationally representative probability sample found selective avoidance to occur across all social media. Among the various protest-related activities, sharing news was the only predictor significantly related to both selective avoidance and participation in protests across four social media platforms. In addition, political factors significantly predicted selective avoidance. Finally, selection bias was evident in the role selective sharing of news on social media played in predicting selective avoidance only among the protest supporters. The findings indicate that protest supporters could play a major role in mobilizing the public to participate in street protests by selectively sharing and avoiding protest-related news on social media.
selective avoidance, selective sharing, Lebanese media, social media users, protests and social media