Why Are There So Many Extreme Opinions Online?: An Empirical Analysis Comparing Japan, Korea, and the United States
Yamaguchi, S. (2022), "Why are there so many extreme opinions online?: An empirical, comparative analysis of Japan, Korea and the USA", Online Information Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-07-2020-0310
35 Pages Posted: 6 May 2020 Last revised: 8 Apr 2022
Date Written: April 4, 2020
This study tests the following hypothesis: "People with extreme opinions often express themselves online." I constructed a social media posting model and, together with questionnaire data, estimated the influence extreme opinions had on the number of posts on social media in Japan, Korea, and the United States. The influence was found to be positive across all observed countries and topics. Further, the influence of the degree of opinion extremity about “increase in foreigners” on the number of posts on social media was found to be the strongest in the United States. The elasticity was 0.788 in the United States, while it was 0.447 in Japan and 0.454 in South Korea. Based on the above, our hypothesis was supported, and at the same time, the more sensitive the topic, the more the number of social media posts increased depending on opinion extremity.
Keywords: social media, polarization, online communication, extremism
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