The Selective Exposure Hypothesis Revisited: Does Social Networking Make a Difference?
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The information overload phenomenon has led to the increasing use of filtering and personalization techniques regarding choice of information. Therefore, it is essential to revise the selective exposure hypothesis in order to examine whether individuals are exposed to politically diverse information in the digital environment, and especially in social networking sites. This thesis aims to answer the following research question: In what ways do the audience’s news interaction habits in social networking sites influence online exposure to political difference? The methodology used will employ multidisciplinary discourse analysis, literature review and two case studies. It is argued that the selective exposure hypothesis is still valid in the context of SNSs. However, it is found that some characteristics promote exposure to political diversity, especially when compared to traditional media. It is the subject’s responsibility to exploit the many opportunities presented in SNSs to gain access to and interact with diverse political information.