User comments across platforms and journalistic genres

Anat Ben-David, Oren Soffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study introduces a comparative approach to study user comments on the same news content across online platforms while distinguishing between soft and hard news genres. Empirical analysis focuses on Israel’s popular news website Ynet. Using automated tools, we scraped 17,347 comments to analyze differences in the quantity, length, and topics of comments that were posted through Ynet’s comments section, Facebook Comment Plugin, and Facebook page. Our findings reveal that commenting patterns vary greatly across platforms and news genres. Specifically, the number of comments posted on Ynet’s Facebook page is significantly higher than the two other commenting platforms (for both hard and soft news), but these comments are shorter and more emotional. We discuss these findings in relation to the notion of ‘context collapse’ in social media, and argue that one of the outcomes of the convergence between news content and social media is the augmentation of consensual national sentiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1810-1829
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Israel Science Foundation [grant number 898/14]. The authors wish to thank Adam Amram for programming the analytical tools. Thanks are extended to Dror Guldin and Tzipy Lazar-Shoef for research assistance, and to Efrat Daskal for valuable feedback.


  • User comments
  • cross-platform analysis
  • online news
  • platforms
  • social media


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