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Leading or following?: (non)correspondence between media and user frame networks on YouTube channels of right-wing news organizations [Hybrid]

Pictured: Yuan Hsiao

Yuan Hsiao

How does conventional media shape right-wing rhetoric? Theories of media effects have moved towards a networked approach to frames and issues, but it remains uncertain how such frame networks emerge in a US radical right media ecosystem that increasingly deviates from previous media norms and in which users themselves can shape political rhetoric through discussion on social media. We apply a network framing approach to all videos and comments between January 2019 and March 2021 on the YouTube channels of four major conservative media. We focus on the networks surrounding events such as the pandemic or Black Lives Matter. We find that the network of frames in users comments does not simply mirror those in the initial stories: Through frame amplification and re-association, users introduce conspiracy theories and emotionally charged rhetoric not present in the original videos. We discuss implications for both right-wing politics and media effects.