Comments and Links: Group Political Polarization in Social Networking Sites: An Explanation Based on Micro Behaviors
群体政治极化是互联网传播领域长期关注的重要现象,然而进入社会化媒体时代,网络群体极化的状况和形成机理是否发生了变化?为此本文分析了从观点生产到链接构建的群体极化机制,并结合在线社交网络用户数据与跨国比较数据进行了验证。研究发现,在社交网络的技术、媒介和社会网络三重特性的相互作用下,使用者会选择观点的隔离并转而链接同质群体,这一建构过程最终导致网络群体极化的产生。对跨国数据的分析也表明,在政治观点表达更为活跃的社交网络中,人们认知到相异观点的几率却下降了。因此,如何在新媒体时代构建一个多元协商的网络治理环境,我们或许可以从观点和链接两个方面入手。Much research in communication has been concerned with the phenomenon of group political polarization in the Internet. But in the new age of social media, how has the situation and the formation mechanism for group polarization in the Internet changed？ To answer this question, this paper proposes a group political polarization model, which includes comment/opinion and link data. Our model uses online SNS （Social Networking Sites） user＇s data to test the hypothesis. The study finds that the usage of SNS promotes online political participation behavior and willingness. However, SNS include technology, media and social networks, and the study further finds that the distinction between comment and links＇ homogenization is the critical reason for group polarization in SNS. Based on this logic, by analysis of cross-nation data, the study shows that more people share political views in SNS, but the probability that they will adapt to new opinions is lower. Therefore, the study indicates that group polarization may not be simply categorized as irrational behavior, but contains the rational evolution of online social networks. When creating a multi-negotiated network in the new media age, we can solve polarization problems by paying attention to comments and links. Our findings are also significant for online civic participation and democratic consultation in China.