Social media are an increasingly important communication tool in political campaigns, yet there is much to learn about how communication effects might differ for these platforms. In contrast to traditional media outlets, messengers often do not fully control their message on social media; rather, the audience receives the message along with comments and reactions, commonly uncivil ones. Using a survey experiment, we examine the persuasion implications of audience comments on candidate tweets. We find that commentary on tweets become part of the communicated message, with positive comments offering a slight persuasive boost, but negative comments offering a larger negative effect.
The message and the medium
The communication effects of Twitter commentary