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Beyond Big Bird, Binders, And Bayonets: Humor And Visibility Among Connected Viewers Of The 2012 Us Presidential Debates, Kevin Driscoll, Alex Leavitt, Kristen L. Guth, François Bar, Aalok Mehta Jan 2018

Beyond Big Bird, Binders, And Bayonets: Humor And Visibility Among Connected Viewers Of The 2012 Us Presidential Debates, Kevin Driscoll, Alex Leavitt, Kristen L. Guth, François Bar, Aalok Mehta

Communication Faculty Publications

During the 2012 US presidential debates, more than five million connected viewers turned to social media to respond to the broadcast and talk politics with one another. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study examines the prevalence of humor and its relationship to visibility among connected viewers live-tweeting the debates. Based on a content analysis of tweets and accounts, we estimate that approximately one-fifth of the messages sent during the debates consisted of strictly humorous content. Using retweet frequency as a proxy for visibility, we found a positive relationship between the use of humor and the visibility of individual tweets. Not ...