(Article Critique on “Presence of Online Reader Comments Lowers News Site Credibility”

Article Critique on “Presence of Online Reader Comments Lowers News Site Credibility”


PSY 325: Statistics for the Behavioral & Social Sciences


This research views and analyzes the ideas that affect the response of the reader’s comments on online news responsibility and reliability. The information critiques the points from “Presence of Online Reader Comments Lowers News Site Credibility,” a newspaper article by Lindsey Conlin and Chris Roberts, published in 2016. This study explores the impact of individual trust within journalism on source preferences and online news participation behavior, particularly sharing and commenting, across 11 countries (Conlin & Roberts,2016). By critiquing this article, we will evaluate the significance of media trust and explores the relationships between individuals’ levels of media trust and news attention. Three distinct varieties of media trust will be introduced: 1) trust of reports information, 2) trust of those who deliver the news, and, 3) trust of media corporations.

In situations when analysts decided to differentiate themselves, clients can never ensure the real personality of the analyst, since readers sometimes hide behind fake labels. There will be an ANOVA test statistically breaking down the procedure and methods used in data collection, measurements/instruments used, the participants involved, and how they were selected as well as the statistics techniques used to come to the conclusions expressed: displayed for this cause to show how to test the effects of commenting sections and commenting moderation on message and messenger credibility. We will identify the questions and/or hypothesis and the reason for this article critique. Lastly, we will summarize those main points, explain how a study like this could be applied to us now and in the future.in the future. More current examinations show that without customary signals, Internet clients additionally depend upon mental heuristics; for instance, the assessments of others, before making validity judgments.


This investigation utilized a 2×2 analysis to check the impact of remarking frameworks and remark balance on apparent message and delivery person believability. The independent variables were a reasonable remarking framework (local versus non-local) and strategy of balance (pre-control versus post-balance). This led to four test conditions. Moreover, an effective condition was utilized that incorporated the report in any case, no client remarks. A post-test strategy for estimating reactions and other appropriate data was executed, even as a between-subjects plan, where members were presented to merely one among the five members. Inside the trial, members were haphazardly meted out to a test gathering. An internet report—roughly 500 words, where members accepted was from a site related to a close-by network paper, “The Tuscaloosa News” (Conlin & Roberts, 2016).

Each report included nine per-user remarks following the substance of the story. The scientists had the collaboration of the paper, who permitted the precise look and feel of their site to be duplicated within the test. This led to medicines that were indistinct from real online news content. Utilization of a realized ambassador was utilized seeable in the inherent challenges in estimating envoy believability of an obscure dispatcher and, in light of the very fact that reliable utilization of the news association made a controlling element within the examination. The story inserted inside the news site was accounted for and composed by specialists, utilizing the paper’s style to allow a local, applicable story that will almost certainly invite conversation within the remarks segment.

Conditions that included non-local remarking frameworks, which were from outer destinations and needed a free logon, educated clients to “sign into Facebook and to post a remark.” Local remarking conditions included photographs of three out of nine analysts, and no analyst utilized a real name. The non-local remarking conditions included analysts with genuine names and sensible photos—not movements or drawings—related to the remarks. The contrast between the two balance conditions were articulations about “all remarks are audited by the [newspaper name] preceding being posted” (pre-control) or “all remarks may be evacuated by the [newspaper name] so sometime within the not too withdrawn future” (post-control). The nine remarks within the test environment were charmed legitimately or changed marginally by analysts from actual observations a twosome of almost identical tale me-time within the not too distant future” (post-control). The nine remarks within the trial conditions were taken legitimately or changed marginally by analysts from real observations a couple of comparable stories from legitimate news sites or on the opposite hand were composed by analysts so on guarantee an assortment of suppositions remarking on the report. The remarks were chosen using the critique that was most firmly identified with the story itself, and any comments that contained hostile language or assessments were prohibited from the conditions. The higher remarks were coordinated in the story, with one that reprimanded the detailing of the story. Each trial condition incorporated similar comments, with the control bunch including the story, however no remarks. Within the wake of being approached to peruse the substance on the page, members utilized the ANOVA test.

Members were approached to allow restricted segment data, what’s more, data about their news utilization, and remarking propensities. The inquiries on dispatcher credibility and message credibility were received from scales perceived to be associated during a past ANOVA study and were randomized. The two measures—envoy what’s more, message believability—highlighted five inquiries, for an aggregate of 10 questions regarding validity. Members were selected from college courses at an infinite, southeastern college and from outside of the school setting on the increase a progressively differing test of members. The examination occurred altogether online using the programming Qualtrics, and also the connection to the analysis was conveyed through the school member pool and thru internet-based life. So, to get more nuanced reactions, specialists didn’t illuminate members earlier than time about the real idea of the examination. Within the wake of finishing the test, members were told about the purpose of it.


This experiment consists of the researchers using the 2×2 experiment test. Its purpose was to test the effects of the accommodations of the perceived item. 7.3 percent were from different races. Cronbach’s unwavering quality investigation indicated that scales for dispatcher validity α = .81 and message believability α = .76 were viewed as trustworthy. The other two subordinate factors were tried for ordinariness and were both seen as ordinary.

Table 1: Means of Messenger and Message Credibility

  Messenger Credibility   Message Credibility
  Mean SD Mean   SD
Native Commenting Systems 3.30 .76 3.41   .75
Pre-Moderation 3.19 .79 3.30   .83
Post-Moderation 3.38 .73 3.50   .66
Non-Native Commenting Systems 3.20 .69 3.38   .64
Pre-Moderation 3.19 .68 3.41   .68
Post-Moderation 3.21 .71 3.36   .59
Control 3.46 .79 3.50   .67


The findings indicate that these different kinds of media trust relate to news attention in distinct ways, especially when examined across the medium. The theoretical significance of the results is discussed and contextualized in an evolving media environment. There was a total of 388 people participating in the test. Special instructions were followed if there were participants that did not full engage in the study or answer all the questions. So, the total participating was 344: 232 females and 109 males. Two hundred ninety percent of them were Caucasian, 32 percent stated they were black, (9.3 percent), and the other were other races (7.3 percent). Results showed that there was no significance in the relationship of the means of the two ANOVA tests.
Research Question 1: Does the presence of reader comments on a news story affect messenger and/or message credibility? (See Table 1.)

Methods utilized in the process of this experiment tested the commuting system and moderation on the credibility in the messengering vocation. The total distinction with the standard faction, an ANOVA, showed the two independent variables that are called to attention here. They are the (native or non-native) and more of delivery person believability (M = 3.46, SD = .79) than people who were presented to the experiment atmospheres (M = 3.25, SD = .79), F (1, 338) = 3.97, p < .05. In any explanation, there was no large distinction in meaning believability, F (1, 339) = 1.04, p < .31. Accordingly, the working to RQ1 is that the nearness of remarks on an assertion essentially brought down flag-bearer validity comments enable readers to release their frustrations through self-expression, thus serving as a form of catharsis.

Research Question 2: Does the type of commenting system (native or non-native) effect messenger and/or message credibility?

Bill Reader’s book “Audience Feedback in the News Media” states that audience feedback is one of the longest unbroken traditions among all modern practices of journalism. Waddell’s study takes these findings a step further and shows that media organizations must consider the effect of readers’ comments sincerely. Concerns about the impact of reader comments are justified and well warranted. In particular, negative and uncivil online comments threaten the perceived journalistic quality of a news story.

Consequently, there is a need to find reasonable solutions for managing comment sections in online news, and media outlets should consider ways to moderate, remove comments, and decrease negative comments. Conlin provided in November 2016, that the news agency removed the comment sections from its news stories to motivate its audience to move discussions to social media and online platforms. The alternative is zapping of their credibility – an idea not too comforting in times where trust in journalism is already low.

Research Question 3: Does the method of moderation (pre-moderation or post-moderation) effect messenger and/or message credibility)?

An ANOVA between control type and envoy believability demonstrated the excellence between implies wasn’t noteworthy F (2, 337) = 2.81, p < .06. An ANOVA between control type and message validity uncovered the contrast between suggests wasn't critical F(2, 338) = 1.04, p < .35. During this manner, the control type had no impact on either an errand person or message believability.

Research Question 4: Does the amount that a person reads, or comments online news affect their perception of messenger and/or credibility?

A person’s relationship examination demonstrated no importance between errand person believability also, measure of stories read online r(338) = .02, p < .70, message validity and sum of stories read online r(339) = .05, p < 36, or the sum a private remarks on the online and message believability r(337) = - .10, p < .06. In any case, there was noteworthiness between the sum of a private remark online and the general view of a delivery person's validity. Therefore, there is no significance between messenger credibility and amount of news read online or even if a person just comments only. But there is a significance between the amount a person does comment and the perception of the credibility of the message spoken.


This investigation surveyed connections between two sorts of remarking frameworks and balance on errand person and message believability. Neither variety of commenting structure or stability appeared to affect message or detachment validity; in any case, at the point when the test conditions—all including remarks—were consolidated and contrasted with the benchmark group, which had no observations, members not presented to comments detailed permanently stronger impression of dispatcher believability. The nearness of the news remarks alone diminished the believability of the news outlet, which is perhaps the most noteworthy finding right now. This proposes news that is introduced in a manner that is more connected with customary news outlets—report without remarks straightforwardly alongside the story—is seen as progressively valid. The expansion of observations fundamentally diminished the believability of the news errand person, yet not the message. If the researcher was interested in further pursuing the way some people reacted to stories posted online, they may have gotten more, and perhaps, reliable information.

The nearness of news remarks alone reduced the validity of the news outlet, which is perhaps the most critical finding right now. A subsequent striking finding was that individuals who remark routinely on online news saw lower errand person validity, paying little mind to the kind of remarking framework or balance. One reason behind the brought down measure of announced efficacy by individuals who visit analysts on online news is that they might be increasingly negative about the web news as well as the news association or potentially other online analysts when all is said in done. This sort of individual may likewise be intensely conscious of the significance of altogether perusing a news story. Further research is required here.

This examination additionally proposes that the impression of the believability of online news might be a long process, one that depends on an individual’s history of utilization of on the web news to frame a total supposition, especially about delivery person validity. Nothing in this current investigation’s outcome showed that members were influenced by the kind of remarking framework or control related to an online news outlet. The opportunities and secrecy that have, for quite some time, been stood up to online analysts are presently causing significant damage to the validity related to online news.

Restrictions, Conclusions and Future Research

The results show that those with low levels of trust tend to prefer non-mainstream news sources like social media, blogs, and digital-born providers, and are more likely to have interaction in various types of online news participation. These associations tend to be most influential in northern European countries: but are weaker elsewhere. Seeking alternative views and attempting to validate the credibility of stories is also among the motivations behind these associations. It would be that few analysts who operate provocative and hostile strategies to render their sensations heard will normally astonish the remarking segments of online publication outlets. Yet the outcomes here show that these clients have an extended haul, unfavorable impact on the impression of validity by most per-users. It’s the harmful and low-quality nature of the remarks that influence efficacy, as against the type of remarking framework, the kind of balance, or perhaps any quiet assault on the revealing of the story itself. These outcomes stress the importance of comprehension. The setting impacts web news conditions overall, as “assessments of story believability wherein the report is read” (Conlin & Roberts, 2016).


Conlin, L., & Roberts, C. (2016). Presence of online reader comments lowers news site credibility. Newspaper Research Journal, 37(4) 365–376. doi:10.1177/0739532916677056

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