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Third Person Effect Apparent In GOP Attack Ad against Clinton Campaign

Source: wsj.com
According to a recent study, a phenomenon called the "third person effect" says that "individuals assume others are more vulnerable to media messages, especially negative ones, than they are." This effect is primarily apparent in ads and other forms of media appearing on sites such as YouTube and other video hosting sites with a comments section. When applied to politics, this is very prominent in attack ads which promote discussion often in favor of whatever the advertisement is attacking. People are very likely to post a comment on a political ad they are opposed to either defend their own conflicting beliefs or speak out against the ad itself.

A prime example of this is in an attack ad released by the GOP on their official YouTube channel highlighting faults of Hillary Clinton using voice overs of negative news headlines with a video clip of Clinton. The third person effect is seen in the comment section with users such as ReallyRick saying "No GOP candidate for President will be able to win enough electoral votes. Period." and user AlcoholicBeast8 saying "This really shows how desperate the GOP is..." These commenters show how the majority of people responding to a Hillary Clinton attack ad are supporters of the candidate being attacked highlighting how the third party effect says that people are more likely to respond to messages that are not in line with their own beliefs.

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