Hostile media perceptions are prominent today but little research has examined how social media use contributes to these beliefs. This study examines whether following politicians’ social media feeds is indirectly linked to hostile media perceptions by evoking emotional responses in the audience. We test this possibility by analyzing two-wave panel survey data collected in the United States during the 2016 presidential election. Following politicians on social media is associated with anger at the presidential candidate individuals oppose and enthusiasm for their supported candidate, both of which are subsequently related to hostile media perceptions.
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