Social media services like Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasingly large role as sources of news. This article investigates the ways the composition of social media networks affects people’s exposure to and attitude toward news. Focus groups (N=31) and in-depth interviews (N=15) with young adults of varying ethnicity and country of origin showed that people’s networks on social media function as micro agenda setters. The characteristics of people in one’s network can facilitate negative effects such as echo chambers and spirals of silence but can also unfold new perspectives and create awareness of topics not covered by legacy media.
Social Media + Society
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Social Media + Society January-March 2016: 1–12 © The Author(s) 2016
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