AAAI Publications, Eleventh International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

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The Impact of Crowds On News Engagement: A Reddit Case Study
Benjamin D. Horne, Sibel Adali

Last modified: 2017-05-03

Abstract


Today, users are reading the news through social platforms. These platforms are built to facilitate crowd engagement, but not necessarily disseminate useful news to inform the masses. Hence, the news that is highly engaged with may not be the news that best informs. While predicting news popularity has been well studied, it has not been studied in the context of crowd manipulations. In this paper, we provide some preliminary results to a longer term project on crowd and platform manipulations of news and news popularity. In particular, we choose to study known features for predicting news popularity and how those features may change on reddit.com, asocial platform used commonly for news aggregation. Along with this, we explore ways in which users can alter the perception of news through changing the title of an article. We find that news on Reddit is predictable using previously studied sentiment and content features and that posts with titles changed by Reddit users tend to be more popular than posts with the original article title.

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