A Riot of Opinions: a Study of Audience Responses on Organizational Facebook Pages
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 14:15 by Alison Terpenning
This paper explores the information sources used in audience responses on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (SGK) branded Facebook page. The responses to the messages posted by SGK around this decision will be explored through the lens of Media System Dependency Theory, which argues that media is an information system, and access to this system is vital in order for audiences to satisfy their need for information coming from outside their immediate vicinity (Ball-Rokeach and Le Fleur, 1976, p. 6). At the same time, media rely on their audiences not only as consumers, but also as providers of information (Ball-Rokeach et al, 1990, p. 250). Through computer-mediated discourse analysis, I will analyze the responses on the official SGK page, and examine the ways that information is shared in this online platform. An exploration of the ways that technology enables or disables actions that contribute to public discourse will lead to a greater understanding of how audiences use multiple sources of information within a public space that allows for two-way communication. As social media platforms are increasingly being used as marketing and branding tools, it becomes more important to understand the ways that users interact with corporate accounts, rather than simply take in the specific information that is offered to them through a single channel.