I am excited to announce that the latest paper from my research team at UT has been published – this was a joint effort between Kristen Sussman (PhD student), Gary Wilcox (Professor), and myself. The research took a mixed methods approach by combining text analysis with mobile polling data from 1Q.com. See title and abstract below – published in the Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing.
Title: Facebook, trust and privacy in an election year: Balancing politics and advertising
Abstract: Prior to the US 2020 presidential election, both Twitter and Google announced changes to their political advertising policies. This article explores trust and privacy issues relating to social media while evaluating current public opinion regarding political advertising on Facebook, which unlike Twitter and Google, has remained steadfast in its support for political advertising. The study uses a textual analysis of Twitter data collected from conversations in October 2019 to provide a snapshot of public rhetoric at this point in time. Results from the text analysis identify trends around the upcoming election, political advertising, Russia and Trump. Topics are further investigated using an online survey panel of 300 participants. ANOVA results indicate that privacy concerns are a key driver of desire to remove political advertising. The results suggest that user perception of Facebook advertising is decreasing as a result of privacy concerns related to trust in the platform. Political advertisers should therefore reevaluate their communication strategy with regard to Facebook advertising.
Keywords: Facebook; misinformation; online advertising; online trust; political advertising; privacy; public opinion
Next we will be working on a text analysis regarding COVID-19 vaccine hesitation – more coming soon.