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Article
Author(s)

Nikos Antonopoulos, Dimitrios Giomelakis, Andreas Veglis, Antonis Gardikiotis, Charalampos A. Dimoulas

Affiliation(s)

Media Informatics Lab, Thessaloniki, Greece Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece Laboratory of Electronic Media, Thessaloniki, Greece Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

ABSTRACT

This paper studies the web third-person effect (WTPE) hypothesis in the context of news websites and social media. Specifically, the study examines the role of social media metrics (i.e., shares and likes of news articles) in shaping users’ opinion about the websites. Users’ news sharing intention in social media is also investigated. Based on a structured online questionnaire (N = 7,404), the results confirm that WTPE can be found in social media metrics without the presence of specific message content. It should be noted that the effect was found at three perceptual levels, self, friends, and other users. Regarding intention for news sharing, text was indicated as the most important reason among Internet users. Finally, the work demonstrates significant correlations between WTPE and article characteristics that influence people’s attitudes to share news online.

KEYWORDS

web third-person, Facebook, share, like, social media metrics

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