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Opinions on crime and criminals through Facebook news media : an exploratory study

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Title:
Opinions on crime and criminals through Facebook news media : an exploratory study
Creator:
Silbermann, Jacqueline
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Degree:
Master's ( Master of Arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Sociology, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Sociology

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University of Colorado Denver Collections
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Auraria Library
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Copyright JACQUELINE SILBERMANN. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
OPINIONS ON CRIME AND CRIMINALS THROUGH FACEBOOK NEWS MEDIA:
AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
by
JACQUELINE SILBERMANN
B.A., Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2011
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Sociology Program
2016


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Jacqueline Silbermann has been approved for the Sociology Program by
Candan Duran-Aydintug, Chair Kari Alexander Leigh Ingram
December 17, 2016
n


Silbermann, Jacqueline (M.A., Sociology)
Opinions on Crime and Criminals Through FacebookNews Media: An Exploratory Study Thesis directed by Associate Professor Candan Duran-Aydintug
ABSTRACT
Crime has long been an important topic in American society. The way in which television and print media has covered crime throughout history has influenced the way in which the general public views criminals and criminal acts. In recent years, Facebook has become the main source of news for over half of the United States population yet there has been no research into how crime news shared via Facebook influences public opinion.
The cultivation hypothesis has been used to explain the relationship between opinions on crime and criminals and television viewership and should be reexamined in the context of Facebook and social media.
This preliminary study uses two variations of one questionnaire to gain insight into the Facebook habits, news consumption, and opinions of a suspected criminal featured on Facebook. Using a convenience sample of 231 undergraduate students, it was determined that while respondents believe that Facebook is a less reliable news source than traditional news, more respondents are using Facebook as their primary news source than television or newspaper. Respondents were also more likely to believe a criminal suspect was somewhat likely or very likely to be guilty of the crime he was accused of as described on Facebook if they were not shown Facebook user comments along with the Facebook post. Results from this study indicate that further research into the influence of Facebook on opinions of crime and criminals is necessary in order to understand the impact on a broader social scale.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Candan Duran-Aydintug
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DEDICATION
To my beshtie, Brady.
IV


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I am thankful to many people who have supported me along my academic journey. Professor John Ratliff, my professor for Sociology 101 and Rachel Lehman, who showed the pervasiveness of sociology. There are some people in the academic world whose influence, assistance, patience, and kindness have not only helped me with my studies, but have bled through to all areas of my life. Candan Duran-Aydintug has been not only a fantastic teacher, but has been cheerleader, guidance counselor, and friend. Her support has meant the world and I can say for certain that I would not be here today had it not been for her. Many thanks to my other committee members, Leigh Ingram and Kari Alexander; I am so grateful for your time, attention, and patience! Nick V., who has answered many questions when Google was just a click away; thank you for your help, it means more than you know. Tina Hartt, who started this Masters program with me what seems like a million years ago seeing your smiling face in classes throughout the years served as a source of calm for me in a world that can be all too overwhelming. Shoshanna and Nova, who I will always consider mentors in the P.D. world your spirit and heart for the clients we serve(d) are unmatched. Your belief in me literally changed the course of my life, whether you believe it or not.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION................................................1
II. LITERATURE REVIEW ..........................................3
Crime.......................................................3
Media ......................................................5
Juries......................................................7
Facebook...................................................10
III. METHODS ...................................................12
Background.................................................12
Instrument ................................................12
Procedure and Rationale ...................................14
Sample.....................................................14
IV. RESULTS ...................................................16
Facebook Habits Graphs and Tables..........................16
News Consumption Graphs and Tables.................29
Response to Facebook Post Graphs and Tables.............34
V. DISCUSSION.................................................44
Conclusions, Contributions, and Future Research............49
REFERENCES.............................................................50
APPENDIX...............................................................55
A. Questionnaires and Voluntary Consent..........................55
B. Codebooks.....................................................66
C. Questions 1-7: Demographic Tables and Charts..................76
D. Question 18: Write-in Responses...............................83
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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The debate surrounding media coverage and criminal trial proceedings has been ongoing for nearly a century (Borgida, DeBono, and Buckman, 1990:489). Media coverage has been controversial in that it can turn regular court proceedings into carnival-like atmospheres (Borgida et al. 1990:489). The 1935 murder trial of a man named Bruno Hauptmann was one of the first trials to be heavily covered by national news media. Hauptmann was accused of kidnapping the child of Charles Lindbergh and was eventually executed, after one of the most infamous media-trial cases to date (Surette 1989:301). In addition to the chaos media coverage can bring to a courtroom, there can also be legal consequences; media coverage has contributed to many mistrials and overturned convictions throughout history (Borgida et al. 1990:489). In the more recent past, social media has emerged as a problematic aspect of criminal court trials. Social media has been defined as a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010:61). Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are used by millions of individuals as well as countless organizations and businesses. Network news stations, newspapers, and magazines of all types also have Facebook pages through which they disseminate news stories, including crime news. Recognized television networks including NBC, CBS, and ABC, their local affiliate stations, as well as nationally distributed newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times all have Facebook and Twitter accounts which are updated daily, if not several times a day (Gangadharbatla, Bright, and Logan, 2014:46). While statistics show that 57% of American adults have a Facebook account and 64% of those users access their account daily,
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there is little known about how Facebook posts by news networks providing crime information can effect public opinion towards crime and criminals (Smith, 2014). In the relatively short amount of time that social media sites such as Facebook have been active, criminal courts have seen dozens of cases declared mistrials or have had verdicts overturned as an effect of social media (Nuss, 2001; Grow, 2014). Research into the influence social media has on juries or the opinions of the general public on crime is nearly nonexistent but is critical to understand in order to provide criminal defendants with their constitutional right to due process.
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CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
Crime
Crime is as much a public issue as it is a private issue (Sacco, 1995:142). Crime has an economic impact on the public through tax dollars used for prisons, legal defense of the indigent, probation costs for misdemeanor offenders, and funding for the police, among other expenses. Crime can also have an emotional effect on the public. In 2012, a Colorado movie theater was the scene of a horrendous crime in which dozens of people were shot, some fatally. The crime garnered national attention and as the criminal court proceedings played out, emotions ran high; not only for the victims of the crime and their surviving family members, but for the general population in Colorado and around the nation. The crime was tragic and left a lasting impact on many people, as have many other similar crimes. A crime committed by one person can quickly turn into a political issue, a healthcare issue (specifically mental health), or even an educational issue, all of which are very public.
Crime is something that has always captivated the general public. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, there have been few other issues which demand as much public attention as crime (Blumstein and Cohen, 1980:223). Throughout the decades of punishment reform and public demands for more efficient crime control, it has become clear that the U.S. is a nation whose battle with crime is never-ending. Regardless of crime trends, which have fluctuated over the past several decades, people tend to believe that crime is increasing whether it is or is not, and the fear of crime remains a major problem facing the nation. One of the main causes of the heightened awareness and fear of crime comes from the media. The media provide their audience the general public with crime stories that are dramatic and often violent, and rarely does the media concern themselves with sharing the entire, factual
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story. James D. Orcutt and J. Blake Turner (1993) found in their research on print media that claims-making activity is prevalent in media reports, especially regarding crime, and the manner in which news is presented can contribute to societal misconceptions (204). Often, news is reported with biased information, misleading statements, or without context which many people in the general public are not perceptive or informed enough to distinguish from full facts.
A 1997 study on audience effects found that there are several factors which play into the publics fear of crime as influenced by the media (Chiricos, Eschholz, and Gertz). Using several forms of media as their variables (including television, radio, and print news), Chricos et al. found that media reports in and of themselves do not cause an increase in fear of crime, but the individual audience member consuming the media messages constructs the information according to their personal experiences, beliefs, and interests (Chricos et al., 1997:354). While each audience member may perceive the news they read, watch, or hear differently based on their own constructions, other studies have found that television medias influence is profound (OKeefe and Reid-Nash, 1987:158; Orcutt and Turner, 1993).
OKeefe and Reid-Nash (1987) found evidence to support the idea that audience members who watch televised crime news coverage are more likely to be fearful of crime (158). The authors used secondary data taken from a 1985 crime prevention study which included over 1,000 adults from three metropolitan U.S. cities, as well as a separate study on citizen orientation towards crime, to determine how media portrayals of crime and criminals could shape audience perceptions (OKeefe and Reid-Nash, 1987:147,152). Their analysis examined television viewership as well as newspaper consumption and controlled for demographics and past experiences with crime or victimization (OKeefe and Reid-Nash,
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1987:152). OKeefe and Reid-Nash (1987) found that while newspaper consumption did not appear to have a significant effect on fear of crime, television news consumption was strongly correlated with an increased fear of crime (159). Fear of crime, perceived risk of victimization, and the way in which crime is presented to society seem to share some relationship, although studies disagree on where the correlation lies. Ray Surette (1989) posits that media is a socializing agent which shapes society and that crime-related media serves a critical role in the social definition of crime and criminals (298).
Media
The media, specifically television news, has long been a part of Americans lives. It was in the 1980s though that news became a profitable, sustainable television product (Britto and Dabney, 2010:199). The discovery of news as a money-making enterprise changed the face and content of news reporting. In the past, news had been reported as facts, but as pressure to gain ratings and audiences grew larger, it became necessary to not only inform, but to entertain. Crime news had long been a topic of news broadcasts and the new format called for more intriguing crime reporting. In the 80s, we entered a time of tabloid justice, which place[d] the focus on entertainment rather than on factual information (Britto and Dabney, 2010:199). It was during the 80s and 90s that soft news programs such as Inside Edition and A Current Affair went on-air and began national reporting of sensationalized violent crime, among other arguably less-entertaining stories (Britto and Dabney, 2010:1999). Eventually, crime became an entire genre of television shows and the nation was introduced to true-crime and fictional crime programs such as, COPS, Law and Order, and Peoples Court.
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There is extensive research into the relationships between the media and the way in which it shapes the opinions of the general public. One of the most widely researched concepts is the cultivation hypothesis (Gerbner and Gross, 1976; Potter, 1986; OKeefe and Reid-Nash, 1987; Ogloff and Vidmar, 1994; Brewer and Ley, 2009; Kort-Bulter and Sittner-Hartshom, 2011). The cultivation hypothesis suggests that television content exerts a continuous force on peoples minds and thereby influences the way individuals see the world (Potter, 1986:159). Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, and Signorelli (1980) found that the more time a person devotes to watching television, or living in the world of television, the more likely they are to report perceptions of social reality which can be traced to (or are congruent with) televisions most persistent representations of life and society (14). This finding was the basis for the cultivation hypothesis. OKeefe and Reid-Nashs 1987 study also found evidence to support the cultivation hypothesis (OKeefe and Reid-Nash,
1987:158). They found that while those who received the majority of their news information from newspapers were not significantly affected by the medias reporting, in terms of their fear of crime, those viewers who primarily received news information from television were more likely to be fearful of crime or victimization (OKeefe and Reid-Nash, 1987:158).
Not all studies are in agreement that the cultivation hypothesis explains an increase in fear of crime or victimization. Lisa Kort-Butler and Kelly J. Sittner-Hartshom (2011) found that crime news viewership did not predict fear of crime in audience members (45). They did find, however, statistical evidence that crime drama (fictional television) viewership is correlated with support for the death penalty (Kort-Butler and Sittner-Hartshom, 2011:45). The authors opine that because news and non-fictional crime stories tend to offer context, viewers are less likely to support capital punishment because they are able to consider
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mitigating factors of the case (Kort-Bulter and Sittner-Hartshom, 2011:51). Kort-Butler and Sittner-Hartshorns (2011) study had limitations, including a non-representative sample from Nebraska, which they acknowledged (52). Additionally, while they analyzed some crime news, their study focused on crime dramas and non-fictional crime television shows intended solely for entertainment. Despite their findings, the overwhelming majority of research supports the idea that much of what the public believes about crime is constructed by the media (Sacco, 1995:145). The relationship between the media and public opinions of crime becomes an issue when the media influences the publics opinions so much that jury impartiality is endangered.
Juries
As expected of a fundamental element of the fair operation of the United States justice system, juries have been widely studied. The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that all people accused of crimes will, enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury... (U.S. Constitution). Perhaps the most important element to the guarantee U.S. citizens receive is that the jury should be free from prejudice or bias against the defendant, able to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant based solely on the evidence and testimony presented at trial (Brown, 2013:810). Research has shown that a number of factors, including pretrial publicity, can unfortunately encourage bias injury members, tainting that guarantee (Stabley, Besirevic, Fulero, and Jiminez-Lorente, 1999; Ruva, Guenther, and Yarbrough, 2011; Blais and Forth, 2014).
The way in which a defendant is portrayed to a jury has been shown to have an effect on the outcome of the trial (Blais and Forth, 2014). Julie Blais and Adele Forth (2014) surveyed 295 college students about their opinions of the credibility of testimonies in
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simulated jury trial transcripts in an effort to show the potential labeling has on a criminal defendant (123). Respondents in the study were also asked to deliver a verdict and recommend punishment and/or treatment for the defendant, based on the testimonies they read. The transcripts provided to the respondents included testimony from victims, witnesses, an expert, and the defendant. The expert testimony in half of the transcripts described the defendant as a psychopath and the other half did not include a suggested diagnosis (128). The authors found that respondents were significantly more likely to find the defendant guilty if an expert described the defendant as psychopathic (Blais and Forth, 2014:128).
Their findings support their claims that labeling, especially by someone described as an expert, can have extreme ramifications in a court room. Analyses of criminal defendants are not only used during trials; crimes that receive heightened media attention may be subjected to expert analysis by parties who are largely unfamiliar with all of the facts of the cases. Popular television networks such as NBC and CNN, employ specialized correspondents given the title of expert, who, often without complete case information, make assumptions about the case and defendant on television shows such as 60 Minutes and 20/20. The expert analyses are broadcast to national audiences potentially creating biases based on inaccurate and incomplete information.
Jurors, as members of the general public, are potentially as likely to read or watch a media report as any other member of society. The effects of pretrial publicity have been studied for decades and most empirical studies agree that it disproportionately causes proprosecution biases in jurors (Moran and Cutler, 1991; Ogloff and Vidmar 1994; Bruschke and Loges, 1999; Hope, Memon, and McGeorge, 2004; and Ruva and LeVasseur, 2012). Pretrial publicity has not been explicitly defined but the inferred meaning is: any media
8


reporting of a crime or criminal defendant prior to the court trial. In a recent study on the effects of pretrial publicity on jury deliberations, Christine Ruva and Michelle LeVesseur (2012) found that in mock jury deliberations, jurors spent a significant amount of time discussing pretrial publicity of the defendant and case (445-446). Ruva and LeVesseur (2012) posit that pretrial publicity establishes a framework through which a jury is able to put a criminal case into context (445). This can be harmful to a defendant as the testimonies and evidence provided to a jury during a trial are intended to be the only information considered during the deliberations. The discussions of pretrial publicity in the jury deliberations of the mock jurors in Ruva and LeVesseurs study varied, however all of the jurors did, in one way or another, bring up the pretrial publicity of the defendant (Ruva and LeVesseur, 2012: 445). Even when jurors acknowledged that they were discussing pretrial publicity and not the facts of the case as presented during the trial and as testified to in court, they used the pretrial publicity information to fill in gaps that they believed were left out in trial proceedings (Ruva and LeVesseur, 2012: 445). While this research exhibits several different legal implications, the most critical finding is that jurors are using pretrial publicity to decrease their ambiguity about the case which they are hearing (Ruva and LeVesseur, 2012: 446). When the standard of proof in a criminal court case is reasonable doubt, ambiguity is potentially a goal of the defense and by jurors using pretrial publicity to gain insight, it is instilling a pro-prosecution bias.
While the literature regarding pretrial publicity overwhelmingly points to the potential problems it creates, Jon Bruschke and William E. Loges (1999) found that there is not a significant difference in conviction rates between murder cases with high rates of pretrial publicity and those murder cases with no pretrial publicity (Bruschke and Loges,
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1999:114). They suggest that this finding could be due to inconsistencies between actual trials and laboratory studies (Bruschke and Loges, 1999:115). Bruschke and Loges (1999) examined over 130 homicide cases and conducted an analysis on available data found in court records and newspaper or other print articles. The authors conceded that they were unable to include television news in their analysis which presented flaws in their research findings (Bruschke and Loges, 1999: 111). Additionally, they could not be certain that cases included in their sample as, no publicity were not included as an oversight (Bruschke and Loges, 1999:111). Bruschke and Loges study is one that finds there may not be an effect on jury trials from pretrial publicity among dozens of study which do find an effect. Even they suggest though, that as media evolves, studies similar to theirs must also evolve. As of this writing, there are only speculative legal arguments and opinions regarding the potential biases created through social media. In the Texan Wesleyan Law Review, Kristen Brown (2013) argues that social media compounds our communities, increasing the likelihood for potential jurors to be exposed to damaging or libelous pretrial publicity (4).
Facebook
Facebook and other social media websites have expanded our communities from geographical locations and kinship relationships to glocalized networks of people (Brown, 2013:4). As of February 2014, fifty-seven percent of all American adults have a Facebook account and sixty-four percent of those individuals access their account daily (Smith, 2014). Facebook reports that as of June, 2016, there are 1.13 billion active users per day, worldwide (Facebook Newsroom). Facebook has become a social media giant used for communicating with friends, photo sharing, and more recently, news dissemination. A 2012 study found seventy-one percent of respondents reported that one of their main reasons for using
10


Facebook was to keep up to date on the news (Hermida, Fletcher, Korell, and Logan, 2012:819). Studies on young populations, specifically Gen Y, have found that they are using social media more frequently than all other forms of media, such as television or newspapers, to get their news (Gangadharbatla, et al., 2014:60). George Lazaroiu argues that news is becoming a social activity and that because breaking news coverage is instantly available, reliability of the information is called into question (Lazaroiu, 2014:104,107). Surprisingly, despite the widespread use of Facebook, there have been very little studies conducted on its relationship to many social phenomena, crime included.
A scan of Facebook pages will show that nearly all news networks have an active Facebook account that is updated several times daily. Television news stations, which only broadcast at prescheduled times each day, generally have time to review and verify any information obtained by journalists regarding crime before it is reported (Lazaroiu,
2014:107). Conversely, on Facebook, news outlets often report only small details about the commission of a crime and update as more information is made available, or found to be false. This is a problem because details can be inaccurately reported initially; both genuine news and misinformation have equal potential to be posted on Facebook as verification of facts is often overlooked in the race to post news stories (Lazaroiu, 2014:106). Reporting breaking news coverage on the internet has become a competition according to Ray Maratea (2008) and Facebook pages have become the most efficient manner in which to quickly reach a large audience, despite the frequent reporting of inaccuracies (140).
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CHAPTER III
METHODS
Background
In order to begin the process of studying the relationship between Facebook and its influence on criminal court cases, a determination of whether Facebook creates a significant amount of pretrial publicity must be made. The research question, does social media contribute to public opinions of crime and criminals, is intentionally broad. By beginning with a broad research question, the data collected will narrow the scope and allow for more directed future research. In order to work towards an answer to the research question, I determined that survey examining the general usership of one social media platform, Facebook, and the engagement of the users would be an appropriate starting point.
Instrument
Two questionnaires were developed in order to explore the idea that Facebook user comments influence other Facebook users opinions. For ease in referencing each questionnaire, I will refer to them as Ql and Q2. Both questionnaires begin with an informed consent statement and respondents were told verbally, prior to receiving the questionnaire that their participation was voluntary and they were not obligated to answer any questions. Ql is comprised of twenty-nine questions and Q2 has twenty-seven questions. The first seven questions on each questionnaire ask the respondent for basic demographic data including gender, race, age, marital status, employment status, college enrollment status, and political party affiliation. With the exception of age, all of the demographic questions are multiple choice and a write-in line is provided when appropriate. All respondents were college students at the University of Colorado Denver when they took the survey; if the questionnaire were to be distributed in another setting, the question regarding their college
12


enrollment status could be altered to inquire about their level of education or removed completely if deemed appropriate for the sample.
The next fourteen questions appear on both questionnaires and were designed to gather information about the respondents Facebook habits and news consumption. These questions are made up of a variety of types including interval scale, multiple choice, open-ended, and Likert-scale. Both questionnaires include a Facebook post from a news station which shows a picture of a murder suspect along with a two-sentence headline written by the news station. I located the news article on an actual news stations Facebook page and then changed the names of the parties involved prior to completion of the questionnaire; no other details from the original post were altered. I selected the post because of the severity of the crime, age, race, and appearance of the pictured suspect, and the variety of Facebook user comments on the original post. I was able to determine that the suspect in the original Facebook post was cleared of the charges against him and his case was no longer pending.
Q1 includes select comments from the Facebook post and Q2 does not include any comments. The name and photo of the Facebook user who posted a comment was blocked out prior to distribution of the questionnaires. No other comment details were altered. Because Q1 includes the comments section, two questions on Q1 ask specifically if the respondent would reply to any of the comments provided and, if so, what their reply would be. Both questionnaires conclude with three questions regarding the respondents likelihood to post or respond to the original news station post or the comments made by other Facebook users.
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Procedure and Rationale
A total of 231 surveys were completed by respondents in three separate undergraduate level sociology classes. In order to obtain the sample, I emailed professors in the Sociology department at the University of Colorado Denver to ask if they would be willing to allow me to spend no more than thirty minutes in their classroom to distribute the questionnaire. There were three professors who were willing to allow me to come to one of their classes to distribute the questionnaires. Each professor provided me with the number of students enrolled in their classes; two classes had under sixty students enrolled and one class had approximately 130 students enrolled. Based on the enrollment numbers, I determined that Q1 would be distributed to the two smaller classes and Q2 would be distributed to the large class in an effort to obtain relatively equal numbers of responses for each questionnaire. All three professors were provided with a digital copy of both questionnaires for their review before they were passed out in the classes.
In each of the three classes, respondents were verbally told by both myself and their professor that participation in the questionnaire was voluntary and that they would receive no extra credit or preference for participating. I explained to the respondents that the results of the questionnaire would be analyzed as part of my Masters Thesis. Respondents were told that if they had been present in another class in which the questionnaire had been distributed, they should not complete a second questionnaire.
Sample
A total of 231 respondents from the University of Colorado Denver campus completed either Q1 or Q2. A total of 66% of the sample identifies as female and 33% identifies as male; two self-identifying non-binary respondents participated and one person
14


declined to answer the gender question. CU Denver reports that the Fall 2016 undergraduate enrollment is comprised of 48% male and 52% female students (CU Quick Facts). Of the 231 total participants, 55% reported that they are non-white while 40% identified as white or Caucasian; CU Denver reports that 43% of undergraduates are students of color (CU Quick Facts). Refer to Appendix C for complete demographic information and charts.
Because of time constraints and the necessity of using a cost-effective sampling method, a convenience sample was the most logical choice. This research is only preliminary and future research would demand not only a larger sample, but a more representative one in order to create generalizability and reduce potential bias. A drawback of using this convenience sampling method is that the sample is not representative of the campus population nor the greater Denver areas general population, as shown in the gender and race statistics. The questionnaires were distributed to three different classes; Q1 to two small classes and Q2 to one large class. While the classes were all undergraduate sociology courses, their levels varied (1000-level vs. 3000-level). Rather than distribute the questionnaires to different classes based on enrollment numbers, it would have been beneficial to distribute both questionnaires to all of the classes but to alternating students. Students in introductory or lower-level courses may have different views on crime-related topics than students in upper-level courses. By distributing both questionnaires to alternating students in all classes, the sampling bias could have been better controlled.
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CHAPTER IV
RESULTS
A convenience sample of three undergraduate-level sociology classes was used for the purposes of this research. The classes in which Q1 was distributed had a total of 110 students enrolled, 101 of which completed the questionnaire, or 91% of the sample. Q2 was distributed to a class with 172 students enrolled and 130 questionnaires were completed, or 76% of the sample. Attendance was not taken in any of the classes the day that the questionnaire was distributed and it is unknown how many students were given a questionnaires but did not fill it out. A review of the questionnaires for completeness showed that no students started the questionnaire and did not complete it; one respondent answered all questions by checking the refusal box and their answers were included in the final analysis. A total of 231 questionnaires were included in the data analysis; 101 Q1 questionnaires and 130 Q2 questionnaires.
Facebook Habits
Questions 8-18 on both questionnaires were designed to explore the Facebook habits of the respondents. Questions were intended to measure the respondents frequency of use, network size, posting and commenting habits, and opinions on the reliability of news information posted on Facebook.
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8. Do you have an active Facebook account?
Overall, 89% of the respondents report having an active Facebook account; 88% for Ql, or 90 respondents and 90% for Q2, or 118 respondents. This is shown in Table One.
Table 1
Active Facebook account? Ql n=101 Q2n=130
Yes 89 117
No 11 11
Refusal 1 2
Total 101 130
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9. How do you access Facebook most often?
Seventy-two percent of respondents with an active Facebook account report that they access Facebook most often from their cell phone; 74% for Q1 and 71% for Q2. This is followed by 12% reporting that they access Facebook from a laptop or desktop computer; 12% for both Q1 and Q2.
Table 2
How do you access Facebook? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Desktop or Laptop computer 12 15
Tablet 1 0
Cell phone 76 101
Other 0 2
Refusal 1 0
Total 90 118
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10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have?
The number of Facebook friends reported by respondents has the most variation; the majority of respondents, 21%, report having 500 or more Facebook friends; 18% for Q1 and 24% for Q2. Those in the minority, 12%, report having 99 or less friends; 12% for both Q1 and Q2.
Table 3
Q2 Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have?
0-99
100-199
200-299 300-399
400-499
500 or more
Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
0-99 12 15
100-199 16 16
200-299 19 21
300-399 16 19
400-499 9 16
500 or more 18 31
Total 90 118
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11. How often do you log into/check Facebook?
Sixty-eight percent of respondents log on to Facebook once per day or more; 64% of Q1 and 71% for Q2. Only 6% of respondents report rarely or never logging into their Facebook account; 6% for both Q1 and Q2; whereas 9% report logging on several times per hour; 4% for Q1 and 12% for Q2.
Table 4
Q1 How often do you log into/check Facebook?
Rarely or Never
Less than once per week
One to six times per week Once per day
Several times per day, less than hourly
Once per hour
Several times per hour
Q2 How often do you log into/check Facebook?
Rarely or Never
Less than once per week
One to six times per week Once per day
Several times per day, less than hourly
Once per hour
Several times per hour
How often do you log into/check Facebook? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118
Rarely or never 6 8
Less than once per week 9 7
One to six times per week 10 11
Once per day 17 16
Several times per day, less than hourly 37 55
Once per hour 7 5
Several times per hour 4 16
Total 90 118
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12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day?
Eighty-four percent of respondents spend two hours or less per day on Facebook; 87% for Q1 and 81% for Q2. Overall, one percent of the respondents report spending seven or more hours per day on Facebook.
Table 5
Q1 Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a
typical day?
Less than one hour
1-2 hours
3-4 horn's 5-6 hours
7-8 hours
More than 8 hours
Q2 Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a
typical day?
Less than one hour
1-2 hours 3-4 hours
5-6 hours
7-8 hours
More than 8 hours
Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Less than one horn 61 56
1-2 hours 18 40
3-4 hours 9 16
5-6 hours 2 3
7-8 hours 0 2
More than 8 hours 0 1
Total 90 118
21


13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you (Seeing updates and comments from your friends/network; Keeping up-to-date with news and current events; Sharing with many people at once [photos, videos, status updates, etc.]; Seeing entertaining/funny posts; Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends).
Q1 respondents indicated that connecting or reconnecting with family and friends and seeing entertaining/funny posts, respectfully, were their top reasons for using Facebook. The Q2 respondents indicated that their most important reasons for using Facebook are seeing entertaining/funny posts and seeing updates and comments from Facebook friends/network. Ninety respondents from Q1 were eligible for the question, based on their response to question 8 (Do you have an active Facebook account?) and 118 respondents from Q1 were eligible. Several respondents used check marks instead of a numerical ranking system to answer the question which does not indicate the reasons are most important to them. Similarly, many respondents used all ones or all fives, for example, to answer the question. Seventy-three responses from Ql, or 81% of the sample, and 94 responses from Q2, or 80% of the sample, were used for analysis of this question.
22


Table 6
Q1 Reasons for using Facebook
Connecting with family and friends Entertaining/funny posts Sharing
News and current events Friends/Network updates
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Least Important Most Important
Q2 Reasons for using Facebook
Connecting with family and friends Entertaining/funny posts Sharing
News and current events Friends/Network updates
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Least Important Most Important
23


14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page?
Forty percent of respondents report that they rarely or never post status updates on Facebook; 37% for Q1 and 42% for Q2.
Table 7
Q1 How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page?
More than once per day
Daily
Weekly Monthly
Rarely or never
Other
How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
More than once per day 1 1
Daily 3 5
Weekly 16 15
Monthly 14 13
Rarely or Never 54 80
Other 2 3
Refusal 0 1
Total 90 118
24


15. Are your Facebook posts public or private?
Fifty-five percent of respondents Facebook posts are private; 57% for Q1 and 55%
for Q2.
Table 8
Are your Facebook posts public or private? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Public 28 41
Private 57 71
Other 4 6
Refusal 1 0
Total 90 118
25


16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page?
Most respondents, 63%, report that they sometimes read posts shared by news stations; 61% for Q1 and 64% for Q2. Only 12% of Q1 respondents and 9% of Q2 respondents report that they never read news station posts that appear in their feed.
Table 9
Q1 How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page?
Always
Sometimes
Never
Q2 How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page?
Always
Sometimes
Never Other
How often do you read posts by news station that appear on your Facebook page? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Always 17 21
Sometimes 62 83
Never 11 11
Other 0 3
Total 90 118
26


17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests
you?
Forty-five percent of respondents reported that they are unlikely to share a news story, even if it interests them; 47% from Q1 and 43% from Q2. Forty-one percent are likely to share a news story; 38% from Q1 and 43% from Q2.
Table 10
Q1 How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you?
Very likely
Somewhat likely
Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely
Other
Q2 How likely are you share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you?

Very likely
Somewhat likely
Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely
Other
Refusal
How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page? Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Very likely 17 17
Somewhat likely 21 39
Somewhat unlikely 18 14
Veiy unlikely 29 42
Other 5 4
Refusal 0 2
Total 90 118
27


18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post.
Eighty-two of the Q1 respondents out of the eligible ninety-seven (based on their response to question eight) and ninety Q2 respondents out of the eligible 118 answered this question. After analyzing the responses, six themes of deciding factors considered before sharing a Facebook post emerged. Twenty-six percent of both the Q1 and Q2 respondents indicated that a post needs to be important, meaningful, and/or worthwhile in order for them to share it. Twenty-three percent of Q1 respondents and 28% of Q2 respondents indicated that the source the post derived from or the audience that it would be shared with were important factors for them. The other themes that emerged are: if the post is appropriate or could be considered offensive (Q1 16%, Q2 18%); whether or not the post is funny or entertaining (Q1 13%, Q2 10%); sharing only to be able to come back to the post at a later date or for reference (Q1 5%, Q2 0%); and if the post is an accurate reflection of the users beliefs and/or opinions (Q1 3%, Q2 10%). Many respondents included more than one reason for sharing a post and several responded that they never share Facebook posts. If a respondent gave more than one reason, all reasons were counted in the analysis. If a respondent indicated that they do not share posts, their answer was only counted towards the total number of responses and not coded for a separate theme of not sharing. For a complete list of answers from both Q1 and Q2, refer to Appendix B.
Table 11
Sharing Considerations Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Funny/Entertaining 12 12
Appropriate/Offensive 14 21
View Later/Reference 4 0
Source/Audience 21 34
Reflective of Own Opinions 3 12
Important/W orthwhile/Meaningful 23 31
Refusal 15 28
28


News Consumption
Questions 19 and 20 on both questionnaires were designed to explore how respondents receive their news and from which sources. Question 21 on both questionnaires was designed to measure the respondents perceived reliability of news posted on Facebook.
19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook?
Fifty-nine percent of the respondents overall report not liking any local news stations Facebook pages. Of the local news stations, 9News (KUSA) is the most liked page with 12% of respondents reporting that they like it; 9% for Q1 and 16% for Q2.
Table 12
Q1 Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook?
Refusal
I do not like or follow any Denver news..
Other
Fox 31 9 News Denver 7 CBS4 Channel 2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
29


Q2 Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook?
Refusal
I do not like or follow any Denver news..
Other Fox 31 9 News Denver 7 CBS4 Channel 2
0
10 20 30 40 50
60
Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply Q1n=90 Q2 n=118
Channel 2 News (KWGN) 6 3
CBS4 Denver (KCNC) 7 6
Denver 7 News (KMGH) 14 21
9News (KUSA) 26 43
Fox 31 (KDVR) 11 18
Other 4 3
I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook 56 65
Refusal 11 13
Total 135 172
30


20. From which source do you get the majority of your news?
While over half of the respondents report that they do not like local news stations Facebook pages, 35% of them report that they get the majority of their news from social media websites; 38% for Q1 and 32% for Q2. Eighteen percent of the respondents report Facebook specifically as the social media site they get the majority of their news from; 19% for Q1 and 17% for Q2. Sixteen percent of respondents report that local television news is their main source for news; 17% for Q1 and 15% for Q2.
Table 13
Q1 From which source do you get the majority of your news?
Refusal U
I do not follow local or national news
Other
Television, national or international Television, local programs Other social media sites/apps Facebook Print Newspaper, national Print Newspaper, local
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Q2 From which source do you get the majority of your news?
Refusal ^
I do not follow local or national news
Other
Television, national or international Television, local programs Other social media sites/apps Facebook Print Newspaper, national Print Newspaper, local ^
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
31


From which source do you get the majority of your news? Qi Q2
Print newspaper, local 2 2
Print newspaper, national 4 7
Facebook 28 44
Other social media sites/apps 25 35
Television, local programs 25 39
Television, national or international programs 17 24
Other 16 17
I do not follow local or national news 10 7
Refusal 1 2
Total 128 177
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21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional news sources such as television or newspaper?
Sixty-nine percent of respondents feel that news posted on Facebook is less reliable than news found through traditional news sources; 71% for Q1 and 68% for Q2. Only 3% of the respondents feel that Facebook is more reliable than traditional news sources; 3% for Q1 and 2% for Q2.
Table 14
Q1 Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than traditional
news sources?
Much less reliable
Slightly less reliable
Equally as reliable Slightly more reliable
Much more reliable
Refusal
Q2 Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than traditional
news sources?
Much less reliable
Slightly less reliable
Equally as reliable Slightly more reliable
Much more reliable
Refusal
Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than traditional news sources Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Much less reliable 21 31
Slightly less reliable 51 57
Equally as reliable 25 36
Slightly more reliable 2 1
Much more reliable 1 2
Refusal 1 3
Total 101 130
33


Response to Facebook Post
For questions 22-28 on Q1 and 22-27 on Q2, respondents were asked to refer to a Facebook post included in the questionnaire. The photo and post was taken from a real news stations Facebook page but the names included in the text were changed for privacy reasons.
13
17-year-old Mario Johnson will appear in adult court this afternoon facing charges for the murder of 13-year old Christopher Barrow. Investigators believe the murder was prompted by Barrow knocking over outdoor trash cans in the middle of the night.
Like Comment Share
a 102 people like this. Top Comments -
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22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)?
Seventy percent of Q1 respondents reported that they were unable to form an opinion on the suspect based on the information provided while only 30% of Q2 respondents reported the same. Forty-six percent of Q2 respondents reported that they believe the suspect is somewhat or very likely to be guilty of the crime described whereas only 19% of Q1 respondents felt the same. Overall, 14% of the respondents felt that it was somewhat or very likely that the suspect was guilty of the crime described; 9% for Q1 and 18% for Q2.
Table 15
Q1 From the information provided, what is your opinion of the
suspect?
Refusal
Other
Unable to form an opinion Very unlikely that he is guilty Somewhat unlikely that he is gulity Somewhat likely that he is guilty Very likely that he is guilty
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Q2 From the information provided in the post, what is your opinion of
the suspect?
Refusal Other
Unable to form an opinion Very unlikely that he is guilty Somewhat unlikely that he is gulity Somewhat likely that he is guilty Very likely that he is guilty
0 10 20 30 40 50
35


From the information provided, what is your opinion of the suspect? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130
Very likely that he is guilty 5 14
Somewhat likely that he is guilty 14 46
Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty 8 14
Very unlikely that he is guilty 1 9
Unable to form an option 71 38
Other 2 3
Refusal 0 6
Total 101 130
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23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the
post?
Only 3% of respondents overall would add their own comment to the Facebook post if it appeared in their newsfeed; 3% for both Q1 and Q2.
Table 16
Q1 If this post was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own 'comment' to the post?
Yes
No
Refusal
Q2 If this post was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own 'comment' to the post?
Yes
No
Refusal
If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Yes 3 4
No 98 124
Refusal 0 2
Total 101 130
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24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below.
Shown in Table 15 are the responses provided by the respondents who said in question 23 that they would add their own comment to the post. Although a total of seven respondents indicated that they would add their own comment, only five respondents wrote in their comment.
Table 17
Its so sad to see young people in todays generation ruining their lives over stupid petty stuff._______
By prompted you mean some random person up at some ungodly hour was looking to start some shit. Where are the evidence to prove that it was Mario? How did Barrow die from Johnson titrowing a trash can?
We need more evidence. Cant discriminate._______________________________________________________________
Do you have any information that gives this source credibility?__________________________________________
2 Two respondents replied yes to question 23 but did not write in a response for question 24___________
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Q1 25. Would you reply to any of the comments made by other Facebook users in response to the article? (Q1 Only)
Table 18
Would you reply to any of the comments made by other Facebook users in response to the article?
Yes
No
Would you reply to any of the comments made by other Facebook users in response to the article? Q1 n=101
Yes 1
No 100
Refusal 0
Total 101
39


Q1 26. If you would reply to a comment made by another Facebook user, please indicate which comment(s) (1-6) you would reply to and what your reply would say in the space below.
Table 19
Dont judge a book by its cover. In some cases its guilty until proven innocent.
(Respondent did not indicate which comment they would reply to.)___________
40


Q1 27/ Q2 25. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story?
Table 20
Q1 Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station to read more about this story?
Yes
No
Q2 Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station to read more about the story?
Yes
No
Refused
Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Yes 28 71
No 73 56
Refusal 0 3
Total 101 130
41


Q1 28/ Q2 26. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article?
Table 21
Q1 Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article?
Yes
No
Other Refusal
Q2 Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article?
Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Yes 13 12
No 85 112
Other 2 4
Refusal 1 2
Total 101 130
42


Q1 29/ Q2 27. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment?
Seventy-two percent of Q1 respondents report that they would be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of theirs already had made a comment while only 22% of Q2 respondents reported that they would.
Table 22
Q1 Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already commented?
Yes
No
Other Refusal
Q2 Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of your had already commented?
Yes
No
Other Refusal
Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130
Yes 17 25
No 80 101
Other 2 2
Refusal 2 2
Total 101 130
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CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION
Years of research have shown that the media plays a role in the general publics perception of crime. The cultivation hypothesis is the most commonly referenced explanation for the influence of media on public opinions of crime, however it has not been studied in the context of Facebook (Gerbner and Gross, 1976; Potter, W. James, 1986; OKeefe, Garrett J. and Kathaleen Reid-Nash, 1987; Ogloff, James R.P. and Neil Vidmar, 1994; Brewer, Paul R. and Barbara L. Ley, 2009; Kort-Bulter, Lisa A. and Kelley J. Sittner-Hartshorn, 2011). The purpose of this research was to explore whether or not social media contributes to public opinions of crime and criminals. Understanding the relationship, if one is shown to exist is important for future criminal justice policy creation, addressing public safety concerns, and because pretrial publicity has been shown to effect the outcomes of jury trials. The research question is broad and will take more than a preliminary questionnaire to gain a full understanding of the relationship, however it is likely that one exists. Gerbner et al. (1980) suggest in their cultivation hypothesis that the more time a person spends watching television, the more likely they are to perceive society in the manner in which it is presented on television. This idea can be similarly applied to social media in that the more time a person spends on Facebook, or the more exposure they have to news stories via Facebook, the more likely they are to perceive the world around them as it is portrayed to them through Facebook. A report published this year by the Pew Research Center found that 62% percent of adults in the U.S. get the majority of their news from social media, up from 49% only four years ago (Gottfried and Shearer, 2016). The Pew study also determined that based on the number of total U.S. Facebook users and the number of Facebook users who report getting their news from the site, 44% of the general population is getting their news from Facebook.
44


Eighty-nine percent of the respondents in both questionnaires (Q1 and Q2) used for this study indicated that they have an active Facebook account. The percentage of active users in this study is much higher than reported in the Pew study however it is unknown how Pew operationalized this question. While over half of the respondents in this study report that they do not like local news stations Facebook pages, 35% of them report that they get the majority of their news from social media websites; 38% for Q1 and 32% for Q2. Eighteen percent of the respondents report Facebook specifically as the social media site they get the majority of their news from; 19% for Q1 and 17% for Q2. While these percentages are much lower than those reported by Pew, more respondents in this study report Facebook as their news source than television; only 16% of respondents report local television news as their main source for news; 17% for Q1 and 15% for Q2. Through this study and the nationally-representative study conducted by Pew, it can be asserted that a large majority of the U.S. population are getting their news from Facebook. Consequently, the news shared on Facebook is reaching an audience perhaps larger than television news reaches and should be examined as such.
Pretrial publicity has been a bane of courtrooms for nearly a century. It has been found to introduce pro-prosecution biases to jurors which destroys a criminal defendants Constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury (Moran and Cutler, 1991; Ogloff and Vidmar 1994; Bruschke and Loges, 1999; Hope, Mem on, and McGeorge, 2004; and Ruva and LeVasseur, 2012). Facebook, as a major source of news for nearly half of the population, has the potential to create exponentially more pretrial publicity than its media counterparts (print news, television news). Rather than watching a thirty-minute local news broadcast once per day, Facebook has become an immediately-accessible constant stream of under-fact-checked
45


news. Facebook users are logging onto their accounts several times per day and spending at least an hour per day taking in Facebook stories, including those posted about crime and criminals. Sixty-eight percent of the questionnaire respondents report logging onto their Facebook account at least once per day; 64% for Q1 and 71% for Q2. Eighty-eight percent of the respondents report that they read the news stories that appear in their Facebook newsfeeds at least sometimes; 87% for Q1 and 88% for Q2. By understanding that the cultivation hypothesis tells us television news audiences are influenced by what they are presented with, and take it in as fact, we can opine that Facebook news stories are influencing users similarly. This influence then, has the potential to create pretrial publicity when news stations post stories about crime and criminals.
Two questionnaires were created for this study in order to provide a comparison for analysis. Each questionnaire included the same real Facebook news post regarding a suspected murderer. The post included a photograph of the suspect and a two-sentence headline about the crime. One questionnaire offered comments by real Facebook users and the second questionnaire did not include the comments. The addition of comments to one of the questionnaires was intended to illicit responses to the provided Facebook post from the respondents on the first questionnaire, but that did not happen. Q1 respondents indicated that they would not reply to any of the user comments provided. Almost no respondents indicated that they would add their own comments to the post, either from Q1 or Q2. However, a scan of any news networks Facebook posts regarding crime and/or criminals will show dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of comments by Facebook users expressing their opinions of the photograph or the linked news story. People are commenting on news stations crime-related Facebook posts, and replying to other commenters, but this sample does not reflect that.
46


While the intention was to analyze which comments respondents would reply to and how they would respond, no data was provided to conduct that analysis.
Another variable intended to be measured by the Facebook news post provided on the questionnaires, was the presumption of innocence of the pictured suspect. In a jury trial, the presumption of innocence is a right afforded to the defendant. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution who must, through evidence and witness testimony, prove to the jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the main problem with pretrial publicity. Especially in high-profile cases, so much news is broadcast about the suspect and the case that before a trial even begins, potential jurors have their minds made up as to the likelihood of guilt of the suspect. Recovering from pretrial publicity bias is not only an incredibly difficult task for the defense, but an unfair and unjust task according to the Constitution. The respondents in Q2 were much more likely to believe that the man pictured in the Facebook post was guilty of the crime described in the Facebook post than the Q1 respondents. Forty-six percent of the Q2 respondents indicated that they felt the man was somewhat likely or very likely to be guilty of the crime as described whereas 19% of Q1 respondents felt the same. Seventy percent of the Q1 respondents and indicated that there was not information provided for them to draw any conclusions about the featured mans guilt or innocence, the ideal response for criminal trials; only 29% of the Q2 respondents agreed. These findings that neither questionnaires respondents indicated they would reply to comments or add their own to the post and the differences in the presumption of innocence between the questionnaires presents a contradiction.
The lack of original comments or interaction with the provided comments by the respondents could have been explained by social desirability bias. Although the respondents
47


were informed that the data collected from the questionnaires was confidential and no identifying information was provided on the questionnaires, they could have declined to respond to the comments in order to protect their own opinions in the case that they were less socially acceptable. However, the addition of the high rate at which Q2 respondents admitted to believing the pictured suspect was at least somewhat likely to be guilty of the crime described leaves me unconvinced that the respondents thought much about social acceptance. It is curious that the Q2 respondents, who did not see the comments section of the news post, were more likely to believe that the pictured suspect was somewhat likely or very likely to be guilty of the crime than the Q1 respondents, who did see the comments section. It could be argued that the cultivation hypothesis would suggest that by seeing the comments, the Q1 respondents should be more likely to align with the opinions expressed in them. However, one news post on Facebook and the comments associated with it should not be considered persistent representations of life and society (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, and Signorelli,
1980:14). Further research to gauge how much exposure to Facebook is required to create or alter opinions of its users would be necessary to examine the cultivation hypothesis through this lens.
Without knowing what types of news all of the respondents see on their personal Facebook pages, it is difficult to suggest with confidence that Facebook influences their opinions on crime and criminals. Much deeper research would be required to understand if a relationship exists. More specifically, the cultivation hypothesis, which came about before Facebook or any social media as we know it had been created, must be reexamined in the context of social media. Further research should include a content analysis of Facebook comments relating to crime and criminal associated news posts. A thorough content analysis
48


would include coding for user opinions expressing 1) guilt 2) innocence or the idea that someone is innocent until proven guilty 3) punishment-related comments and 4) comments relating to the victim rather than the suspect. A thorough content analysis, employing inductive category development, will allow for themes to emerge on their own (Hseih and Shannon, 2005:179). Facebook is a complicated platform because of algorithmic methods which show users varying posts, both by individuals and organizations or companies, including news stations, at higher frequencies than other posts based on the users past habits and browsing histories. Understanding the algorithms Facebook uses in the context of pretrial publicity exposure would be nearly impossible without willing participants who would grant a researcher access to their Facebook page. A case study which follows one specific criminal case may also be beneficial. As an under studied phenomena, there are many potential studies that will emerge.
49


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52


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54


APPENDIX
A. SURVEYS AND VOLUNTARY CONSENT
Questionnaire 1:
An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media
You are invited to participate in a survey designed to understand social media involvement and die effects which social media has on public opinion formation. Your responses will be analyzed as part of a Masters Thesis. Your participation is voluntary and failing to provide some or all of die information requested will not adversely affect you in any way. There are 29 questions on die survey. Even if you agree to participate at first, you may discontinue your participation at any time. Your responses will be used confidentially. Please do not write your name on the survey. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact Jacqueline.Silhermann@lICDenver.edu or Candan.Duran-Avdintug@lICDenver.edu.
1. Sex/Gender Identity:
Male
Female
Odier (please specify)______________________
2. Race/Ethnicity:
White or Caucasian
Hispanic or Tatino/a
Black or African American
Native American or American Indian
Asian/Pacific Islander
Odier (please specify)______________________
3. Age:__________________________
4. Marital Status:
Single, never married
Married or domestic partnership
Widowed
Divorced/Separated
5. Employment Status:
Employed (full time or part time)
Self-employed
Unemployed
6. College Enrollment Status:
Full-time student (12+credits/semester)
Part-time student (11 credits or less/semester)
7. Political Party Affiliation:
55


Democrat
Republican
Libertarian
Green
Constitution
Unaffiliated
Other (please specify)_______________________
8. Do you have an active Facebook account?
Yes (continue to question 9)
No (skip to question 20)
9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies.
Desktop or laptop computer
Tablet
Cell phone
Other (please specify)_______________________
10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have?
0-99
100-199
200-299
300-399
400-499
500 or more
11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies.
Rarely or never
Less than once per week
One to six times per week
Once per day
Several times per day, less than hourly
Once per hour
Several times per hour
12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day?
Less than one hour
1-2 hours
3-4 hours
5-6 hours
7-8 hours
More than 8 hours
56


13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you.
____Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network
____Keeping up-to-date with news and current events
____Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.)
____Seeing entertaining/funny posts
____Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends
14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page?
More than once per day
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely or Never
Other (please specify)___________________________
15. Are your Facebook posts public or private?
Public
Private
Other (please specify)_________________________
16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page?
Always
Sometimes
Never
Other (please specify)_________________________
17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you?
Very likely
Somewhat likely
Somewhat unlikely
Very unlikely
Other (please specify)_________________________
18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post?
57


19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply.
Channel 2 News (KWGN)
CBS4 Denver (KCNC)
Denver 7 News (KMGH)
9News (KUSA)
Fox 31 (KDVR)
Other (please specify)__________________________
I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook.
20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one)
Print Newspaper, local
Print Newspaper, national
Facebook
Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.)
Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.)
Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.)
Other____________________________
I do not follow local or national news.
21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper?
Much less reliable
Slightly less reliable
Equally as reliable
Slightly more reliable
Much more reliable
Please consider the following Facebook post and comments when answering questions 22-29.
58


13
WTHR-TV
17-year-old Mario Johnson will appear in adult court this afternoon facing charges for the murder of 13-year old Christopher Barrow. Investigators believe the murder was prompted by Barrow knocking over outdoor trash cans in the middle of the night
Like Comment Share
£ 102 people like this. Top Comments t
MIGHT have killed someone. Remember this man still has a
right to a fair trial.
Like Reply 8^2 February 3 at 9:41am H 20 Replies
He deserves BOOM II! Next...
Like Reply February 3 at 11:04am
i iThis looks like a guy that was MSNBC Lock-up a few days
ago. but I have been mistaken before.
Like Reply February 3 at 9:52am
in belli You don't know whatyou & your brothers have put my family thru, may God have mercy on your soul young thug Like Reply & 3 February 3 at 1:30pm
'+ 3 Replies
5
Eyes of a shark. Put that POS down. Let a veterinarian do it. He's
an animal.
Like Reply & 2 February 3 at 10:49am
H 2 Replies
6
Trash cans???? He killed someone and ruined his life over a freaking trash can????
Like Reply & 3 February 3 at 9:39am
H 2 Replies
59


22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)?
Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described.
Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described.
Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described.
Very unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described.
Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided.
Other (please specify)
23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post?
Yes (proceed to question 24)
No (skip to question 25)
24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below.
25. Would you reply to any of the comments made by the other Facebook users in response to the article?
Yes (proceed to question 26)
No (skip to question 27)
26. If you would reply to a comment made by another Facebook user, please indicate which comment(s) (1-6) you would reply to AND what your reply would say in the space below.
27. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story?
Yes
No
28. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article?
Yes
No
Other (please specify)______________________
29. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment?
Yes
No
Other (please specify)______________________
Thank you for your participation.
60


Questionnaire 2:
An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media
You are invited to participate in a survey designed to understand social media involvement and die effects which social media has on public opinion formation. Your responses will be analyzed as part of a Masters Thesis. Your participation is voluntary and failing to provide some or all of die information requested will not adversely affect you in any way. There are 27 questions on the survey. Even if you agree to participate at first, you may discontinue your participation at any time. Your responses will be used confidentially. Please do not write your name on the survey. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact Jacqueline.Silhermann@lICDenver.edu or Candan.Duran-Avdintug@lICDenver.edu.
1. Sex/Gender Identity:
Male
Female
Odier (please specify)_______________________
2. Race/Ethnicity:
White or Caucasian
Hispanic or Tatino/a
Black or African American
Native American or American Indian
Asian/Pacific Islander
Odier (please specify)_______________________
3. Age:__________________________
4. Marital Status:
Single, never married
Married or domestic partnership
Widowed
Divorced/Separated
5. Employment Status:
Employed (full time or part time)
Self-employed
Unemployed
6. College Enrollment Status:
Full-time student (12+credits/semester)
Part-time student (11 credits or less/semester)
7. Political Party Affiliation:
Democrat
Republican
Libertarian
Green
Constitution
61


Unaffiliated
Other (please specify)________________________
8. Do you have an active Facebook account?
Yes (continue to question 9)
No (skip to question 20)
9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies.
Desktop or laptop computer
Tablet
Cell phone
Other (please specify)________________________
10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have?
0-99
100-199
200-299
300-399
400-499
500 or more
11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies.
Rarely or never
Less than once per week
One to six times per week
Once per day
Several times per day, less than hourly
Once per hour
Several times per hour
12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day?
Less than one hour
1-2 hours
3-4 hours
5-6 hours
7-8 hours
More than 8 hours
13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you.
____Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network
____Keeping up-to-date with news and current events
____Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.)
____Seeing entertaining/funny posts
____Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends
62


14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page?
More than once per day
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Rarely or Never
Other (please specify)___________________________
15. Are your Facebook posts public or private?
Public
Private
Other (please specify)_________________________
16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page?
Always
Sometimes
Never
Other (please specify)_________________________
17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you?
Very likely
Somewhat likely
Somewhat unlikely
Very unlikely
Other (please specify)_________________________
18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post?
19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply.
Channel 2 News (KWGN)
CBS4 Denver (KCNC)
Denver 7 News (KMGH)
9News (KUSA)
Fox 31 (KDVR)
Other (please specify)_____________________
I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook.
63


20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one)
Print Newspaper, local
Print Newspaper, national
Facebook
Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.)
Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.)
Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.)
Other_____________________________
I do not follow local or national news.
21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper?
Much less reliable
Slightly less reliable
Equally as reliable
Slightly more reliable
Much more reliable
17-year-old Mario Johnson will appear in adult court this afternoon facing charges for the murder of 13-year old Christopher Barrow. Investigators believe the murder was prompted by Barrow knocking over outdoor trash cans in the middle of the night
Like Comment Share
& 102 people like this. Top Comments *
Please consider the following Facebook post when answering
questions 22-27.
22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)?
Very likely that he is guilty of die crime described.
Somewhat likely diat he is guilty of die crime described.
Somewhat unlikely diat he is guilty of die crime described.
Very unlikely that he is guilty of die crime described.
Unable to form an opinion based on die information provided.
Odier (please specify)_____________________________________________________________________
64


23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post?
Yes (proceed to question 24)
No (skip to question 25)
24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below.
25. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story?
Yes
No
26. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article?
Yes
No
Other (please specify)_______________________
27. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment?
Yes
No
Other (please specify)_______________________
Thank you for your participation.
65


B. CODEBOOKS
Questionnaire 1 Codebook:
An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media: Code Book
1. Sex/Gender Identity: (SEX)
Male (1)
Female (0)
Other (please specify)_________________________(2)
2. Race/Ethnicity: (RACE)
White or Caucasian (0)
Hispanic or Latino/a (1)
Black or African American (2)
Native American or American Indian (3)
Asian/Pacific Islander (4)
Other (please specify)_________________________(5)
ADDITION FOR DATA ANATYSIS (6) Middle Eastern
3. Age:__________________________(AGE)
4. Marital Status: (MARITAL)
Single, never married (0)
Married or domestic partnership (1)
Widowed (2)
Divorced/Separated (3)
5. Employment Status: (WORK)
Employed (full time or part time) (1)
Self-employed (2)
Unemployed (0)
6. College Enrollment Status: (SCHOOL)
Full-time student (12+credits/semester) (1)
Part-time student (11 credits or less/semester) (0)
7. Political Party Affiliation: (POLITICS)
Democrat (0)
Republican (1)
Libertarian (2)
Green (3)
Constitution (4)
Unaffiliated (5)
Other (please specify)_______________________(6)
66


8. Do you have an active Facebook account? (FACEBOOK)
Yes (continue to question 9) (1)
No (skip to question 20) (0)
9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies. (ACCESS)
Desktop or laptop computer (0)
Tablet (1)
Cell phone (2) 1
Other (please specify)______________________(3)
10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? (FRIENDS)
0-99 (0)
100-199 (1)
200-299 (2)
300-399 (3)
400-499 (4)
500 or more (5)
11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies. (LOGIN)
Rarely or never (0)
Less than once per week (1)
One to six times per week (2)
Once per day (3)
Several times per day, less than hourly (4)
Once per hour (5)
Several times per hour (6)
12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? (HOURS)
Less than one hour (0)
1-2 hours (1)
3-4 hours (2)
5-6 hours (3)
7-8 hours (4)
More than 8 hours (5)
13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you. (REASON)
____Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network
____Keeping up-to-date with news and current events
____Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.)
____Seeing entertaining/funny posts
____Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends
67


14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? (POSTF)
More than once per day (0)
Daily (1)
Weekly (2)
Monthly (3)
Rarely or Never (4)
Other (please specify)_________________________(5)
15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? (PRIVACY)
Public (0)
Private (1)
Other (please specify)_______________________(2)
16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? (READNEWS)
Always (0)
Sometimes (1)
Never (2)
Other (please specify)________________________(3)
17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? (SHARE)
Very likely (0)
Somewhat likely (1)
Somewhat unlikely (2)
Very unlikely (3)
Other (please specify)________________________(4)
18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post?
19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply. (STATION)
Channel 2 Nem (KWGN) (0)
CBS4 Denver (KCNC) (1)
Denver 7 News (KMGH) (2)
9News (KUSA) (3)
Fox 31 (KDVR) (4)
Other (please specify)______________________(5)
I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook. (6)
68


20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one) (SOURCEN)
Print Newspaper, local (0)
Print Newspaper, national (1)
Facebook (2)
Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.) (3)
Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.) (4)
Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) (5)
Other___________________________(6)
I do not follow local or national news. (7)
21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper? (RELIABLE)
Much less reliable (0)
Slightly less reliable (1)
Equally as reliable (2)
Slightly more reliable (3)
Much more reliable (4)
22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? (OPINION)
Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (0)
Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (1)
Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (2)
Very unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (3)
Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided. (4)
Other (please specify)
__________________________________________________________________________(5)
23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? (COMMENT)
Yes (proceed to question 24) (1)
No (skip to question 25) (0)
24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below.
25. Would you reply to any of the comments made by the other Facebook users in response to the article? (REPLYC)
Yes (proceed to question 26) (1)
No (skip to question 27) (0)
26. If you would reply to a comment made by another Facebook user, please indicate which comment(s) (1-6) you would reply to AND what your reply would say in the space below.
69


27. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? (CLICK)
Yes (1)
No (0)
28. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? (POSTC)
Yes (1)
No (0)
Other (please specify)_______________________________(2)
29. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? (POSTF)
Yes (1)
No (0)
Other (please specify)_______________________________(3)
70


Questionnaire 2 Codebook:
An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media: Code Book
1. Sex/Gender Identity: (SEX_1)
Male (1)
Female (0)
Other (please specify)_________________________(2)
2. Race/Ethnicity: (RACE_1)
White or Caucasian (0)
Hispanic or Latino/a (1)
Black or African American (2)
Native American or American Indian (3)
Asian/Pacific Islander (4)
Other (please specify)_________________________(5)
3. Age:__________________________(AGE_1)
4. Marital Status: (MARITAL_1)
Single, never married (0)
Married or domestic partnership (1)
Widowed (2)
Divorced/Separated (3)
5. Employment Status: (WORK_l)
Employed (full time or part time) (1)
Self-employed (2)
Unemployed (0)
6. College Enrollment Status: (SCHOOL_l)
Full-time student (12+credits/semester) (1)
Part-time student (11 credits or less/semester) (0)
7. Political Party Affiliation: (POLITICS_l)
Democrat (0)
Republican (1)
Libertarian (2)
Green (3)
Constitution (4)
Unaffiliated (5)
Other (please specify)_______________________(6)
8. Do you have an active Facebook account? (FACEBOOK_l)
Yes (continue to question 9) (1)
No (skip to question 20) (0)
71


9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies. (ACCESS_1)
Desktop or laptop computer (0)
Tablet (1)
Cell phone (2)
Other (please specify)______________________(3)
10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? (FRIENDS_1)
0-99 (0)
100-199 (1)
200-299 (2)
300-399 (3)
400-499 (4)
500 or more (5)
11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies. (LOGIN_l)
Rarely or never (0)
Less than once per week (1)
One to six times per week (2)
Once per day (3)
Several times per day, less than hourly (4)
Once per hour (5)
Several times per hour (6)
12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? (HOURS_l)
Less than one hour (0)
1-2 hours (1)
3-4 hours (2)
5-6 hours (3)
7-8 hours (4)
More than 8 hours (5)
13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you. (REASON_l)
____Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network
____Keeping up-to-date with news and current events
____Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.)
____Seeing entertaining/funny posts
____Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends
72


14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? (POSTF_l)
More than once per day (0)
Daily (1)
Weekly (2)
Monthly (3)
Rarely or Never (4)
Other (please specify)________________________(5)
15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? (PRIVACY_1)
Public (0)
Private (1)
Other (please specify)______________________(2)
16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? (READNEWS_1)
Always (0)
Sometimes (1)
Never (2)
Other (please specify)________________________(3)
17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? (SHARE_1)
Very likely (0)
Somewhat likely (1)
Somewhat unlikely (2)
Very unlikely (3)
Other (please specify)________________________(4)
18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post?
19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply. (STATION_l)
Channel 2 News (KWGN) (0)
CBS4 Denver (KCNC) (1)
Denver 7 News (KMGH) (2)
9News (KUSA) (3)
Fox 31 (KDVR) (4)
Other (please specify)____________________(5)
I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook. (6)
73


20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one)(SOURCEN_l)
Print Newspaper, local (0)
Print Newspaper, national (1)
Facebook (2)
Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.) (3)
Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.) (4)
Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) (5)
Other___________________________(6)
I do not follow local or national news. (7)
21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper? (RELIABLE_1)
Much less reliable (0)
Slightly less reliable (1)
Equally as reliable (2)
Slightly more reliable (3)
Much more reliable (4)
Please consider the following Facebook post and comments when answering questions 22-27.
22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? (OPINION_l)
Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (0)
Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (1)
Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (2)
Very unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (3)
Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided. (4)
Other (please specify)
________________________________________________________________________(5)
23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? (COMMENTJ)
Yes (proceed to question 24) (1)
No (skip to question 25) (0)
24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below.
25. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? (CLICK_1)
Yes (1)
No (0)
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26. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? (POST_C)
Yes (1)
No (0)
Other (please specify)______________________________(2)
27. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? (POST_F)
Yes (1)
No (0)
Other (please specify)______________________________(3)
Thank you for your participation.
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C. QUESTIONS 1-7: DEMOGRAPHIC TABLES AND CHARTS
1. Sex/Gender Identity:
Sex/Gender Identity Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Female 70 82
Male 30 46
Non-binary 1 1
Refusal 0 1
Total 101 130
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2. Race/Ethnicity
Q2 Race/Ethnicity
White/Caucasian
Hispanic or Latinx
Black or African American
Native American or American Indian
Asian/Pacilic Islander
Race/Ethnicity Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
White or Caucasian 47 45
Hispanic or Latino/a 21 45
Black or African American 10 4
Native American or American Indian 1 2
Asian/Pacific Islander 14 20
Middle Eastern 2 3
Other 3 2
Refusal 3 9
Total 101 130
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3. Age
25
Q1 Age
20
15
10
5
0
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 32 33 34 37 44 45 n/a
Age Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
17 10 1
18 20 36
19 18 43
20 13 16
21 12 11
22 7 5
23 4 4
24 3 5
25 3 2
26 2 2
27 1 1
32 1 0
33 2 0
34 1 1
37 1 0
44 1 1
45 1 0
Refused/missing 1 2
Mean 23.48 years 21.23 years
Total 101 130
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4. Marital Status
Marital Status Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Single, never married 93 117
Married or Domestic Partnership 7 9
Widowed 0 0
Divorced/Separated 0 3
Refusal 1 1
Total 101 130
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5. Employment Status
Employment Status Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Employed (full time or part time) 70 85
Self-employed 1 4
Unemployed 30 38
Refusal 0 2
Total 101 130
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6. College Enrollment Status
College Enrollment Status Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Full time student (12+ credits/semester) 76 85
Part time student (11 credits or less per semester) 24 38
Refusal 1 7
Total 101 130
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7. Political Party Affiliation
Political Party Affiliation Q1 n=101 Q2n=130
Democrat 42 42
Republican 12 13
Libertarian 5 6
Green 0 0
Constitution 0 0
Unaffiliated 36 51
Other 4 13
Refusal 2 5
Total 101 130
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D. QUESTION 18: WRITE-IN RESPONSES
18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post.
Q1 Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post:________
1, how funny it is then I remember I hate most of the people on my Facebook__________________
2, if it is worth reading
- If it is something others should also know________________________________________________
3, It must be very important for me to share_________________________________________________
4, Will it offend anyone? Will this make people think differently about me?__________________
5, Is it something a friend would think is interesting/relevant?
Do I think its something people should know about? Is it something I want to come back to?
6, content, appropriateness__________________________________________________________________
7, the relevance of the material_____________________________________________________________
8, If the post is appropriate. If its interesting. Will it offend anyone? Is it an image I want to be
know for?__________________________________________________________________________________
9, Whether or not if I feel like it needs to be shared. Sometimes there are tons of the same article
being shared, and I dont feel like I need to._______________________________________________
10, Since I want my family and friends to know my situation because we cant often meet______
11, Does it matter must be yes
Why am I posting this must be important to me
Do I want others to know/would I care if they knew and asked me questions____________________
12, Is it something worth reading____________________________________________________________
13, Source, target audience__________________________________________________________________
14, Must be something very interesting or funny______________________________________________
15, Is it appropriate for my friends on there?_______________________________________________
16.1 usually consider if I know anyone who it will amuse/interest. If I know a few Ill post it, if
not I wont bother___________________________________________________________________________
17, Appropriateness, I dont want alcohol, drugs, cuss words_________________________________
18, It is very unlikely for me to share anything. I dont really like to share anything______
19, Dont share______________________________________________________________________________
20.1 usually dont because I dont publically announce my values/beliefs. Just not something I do
21, If it is something I think others would want to read about. Where the story came from. If
something just affects me, or does it affect others?_________________________________________
22, Ive rarely ever share posts. In fact, I dont believe I have up to this point.__________
23, Possible reaction. How does it make me look? Is it controversial? Accuracy/credibility___
24, Whether it personally affects me, and if I think its legit.______________________________
25, Is it important? Who is involved?________________________________________________________
26.1 dont share Facebook posts______________________________________________________________
27.1 think about family and what they would think or say. Its not really a place to voice your
opinion like Twitter. It seems to get all its news late._____________________________________
28, Interest level. Credibility of Article___________________________________________________
29, 1 If my parents saw this would they approve. 2 Do I approve._________________________
30, Will others find this as interesting as I did? Will my friends like this post? Is it relevant to
whats going on around the world?____________________________________________________________
31, If there are other people who have common interest in it_________________________________
32, If I strongly agree or disagree and wont start a debate_________________________________
33, Whether I want to see it later___________________________________________________________
34, How it will be taken by others if my opinion on the matter is strong enough____________
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35. If I share something on Facebook it so I can find it again easily_________________________
36. Is it funny? Does it remind me of someone? Is it inappropriate? If it is, not posting. What will
people think when they see this? Did I already post this? Is it important?_____________________
37. Whos seeing it? If there is a purpose for sharing it_____________________________________
38. 1, If it is appropriate. 2, What might be thought about me. What people would like it.____
39. If its interesting news. If its true and from a good source. If I have a question I want to ask a
bunch of people. If I have photos of friends that they would maybe want to see_________________
40. The deciding factors I consider are is it important enough for me to post? And will this post
waste other peoples time, will they pay attention to it? If the answer is no, I wont waste my time posting it.____________________________________________________________________________________
41.1 very infrequently post or share on Facebook. Mostly used as a tool to stare off boredom.
42.1 dont like to share things on Facebook___________________________________________________
43. Informative or cool or entertaining_______________________________________________________
44. If it will offend anyone. Who will initially see my sharing and whether they will agree or
disagree. If it is really that important to share.____________________________________________
45. Does it matter to me? Will it matter to other people? How will this post reflect who I am as a
person?________________________________________________________________________________________
46. Others opinions/thoughts on me___________________________________________________________
47. Level of explicit content. Whether or not I care who sees it. Who I might have to block from
seeing. Relevance. Interest. Passion level for content, etc.__________________________________
48. Whether or not I like it__________________________________________________________________
49. What its saying. Who its saying it about and if its something that other should read because of
importance____________________________________________________________________________________
50.1 dont put much but usually only post if its something important or a cool experience I had 51. Is it appropriate for the high school students I work with at church?
52.1 think about whether it would be of interest to anyone I know as well as if it could be
considered offensive._________________________________________________________________________
53. If the message is meaningful in some sort of way. Something that will make people think
about_________________________________________________________________________________________
54, 1, Interesting 2, Relevant to me 3, Unbiased. 4, Non-offensive 5, Righteous____________________
55. Do I think the news source is reliable/unbiased? Will it cause people to get offended/comment
on the post (if so then no). Should other people know about it?_______________________________
56, Is it relevant to me?__________________________________________________________________________
57.1 never post or share anything on Facebook. I only have it for updates on family out of town,
58.1 have a various pool of friends and I dont want to bore them with my posts unless Im
passionate about it___________________________________________________________________________
59.1 usually share posts that have to do with inequalities that occur, or certain social justice events
that occur especially within the Native American Community in order to spread the words.______
60, What I like____________________________________________________________________________________
61, Is the news story relevant to others? Or will the material offend anyone or will it attract
internet trolls?______________________________________________________________________________
62, Content. Importance or relevance_______________________________________________________________
63, Is it going to reflect me in a positive way?___________________________________________________
64.1 am really only of Facebook for entertainment/to see what my friends are doing. If I do post
on Facebook its a picture. I dont think I care enough to share what I had for lunch or something stupid people normally post.__________________________________________________________________
65, Is it important, its effects, will it impact me later, do I really want people to see/read it?_
66, Funny as opposed to not funny__________________________________________________________________
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67. Is this something that I think can benefit others? Is this a post/picture I want people to see?
Would others care about this post?_____________________________________________________________
68. -Interesting
- Funny
- Family appropriate___________________________________________________________________________
69. Before I share/post anything I ask myself if it is something that I want other people to see
70. Do I think its a legit post or is it something totally irrational? If I think its
interesting/important__________________________________________________________________________
71.1 have never posted anything on Facebook ever,______________________________________________
72.1 never post anything, I used to a lot and that was because everyone was doing it. If I were to post something now it would ned to be very meaningful to me and something that I really felt like
people should know, ex: if I got engaged_______________________________________________________
73, How much the topic means to me_____________________________________________________________
74.1 make sure there is no bad language or questionable content in the post (sexual, political,
cussing, etc.) before sharing. I have a lot of past employers/church friends who can see my posts, and Im very aware of the online persona I portray.____________________________________________
75. - whether or not people would find it offensive
- whether or not people would find it interesting
- if a lot of people have already posted about the same topic I usually do not post about it___
76, How funny or important it is for me. If its a big deal.___________________________________
77, Current relevance. How it will be received/interpreted_____________________________________
78. If I dont share this will other people still leam/hear about it?
- almost always yes
-1 never share Facebook posts__________________________________________________________________
79.1 dont share on Facebook. I only have it to connect to friends from previous states lived in. I
rarely even log on,____________________________________________________________________________
80. - the source
- the validity of the article
- If it is entertainment or more serious_______________________________________________________
81. If the post is something t ht away. If it came from a reliable source. If its current and not
offensive to others, hat I can relate to and want others to notice as well_____________________
82. If it sparked my attention
If its appropriate.___________________________________________________________________________
Q2 Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post:_____________
1.1 dont have any deciding factors. If I think its funny/interesting or people should know, I share.
2. Whether its relevant to my interest. If its happening in my city/state. Whether the post relates to
me, my significant other or friends/family._______________________________________________________
3. - Necessary or not
- Helpful or not
- Need to share or not
4. Does it relate to me personally, is it local (geographically), will it have a positive effect or entertain
(Funny) a friend________________________________________________________________________________
5.1 try not to share anything at all because I dont feel it is necessary. Usually if I do it is something
funny or serious that I feel people should see.___________________________________________________
6. How much I care or really think it is something that needs to be shared._______________________
7. If its important, relevant, to me/my friends/family. My mood that day.________________________
8. Never usually share posts only if it applies directly to myself or need to get awareness_______
9. If important to me or will help others but Im barely on Facebook to have ever done that_______
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10. Dont really ever share anything_____________________________________________________________
11. - appropriate
- language
- if it may insult someone causing a fight
- how informative it is
- if it is something I feel passionate about______________________________________________________
12. What Im posting and who will see it and what they will think of me._________________________
13. If I would like to show it to one of my Facebook friends then I will share it. Other than that, I
rarely share posts._______________________________________________________________________________
14. Its usually funny or cool but I dont really consider anything unless its offensive. If its
something that may be offensive I never share it._________________________________________________
15. It has to be relevant and very interesting to me. I always think whether other people will enjoy it
as well___________________________________________________________________________________________
16. If I want to or not. I dont care.
17. Does anyone care? Will people know that I shared it ironically?______________________________
18. Will my chances of a future job be affected? Will my parents see it?_________________________
19. It has to be funny or something I agree on deeply____________________________________________
20. It is good for society, funny, or makes me angry______________________________________________
21. - Who will see this
- Will I offend anyone____________________________________________________________________________
22. - Who will see
- Content is appropriate__________________________________________________________________________
23. How important it is and how it affects me_____________________________________________________
24.1 never post, only really so my family can see updates in my life and those are only photos____
25. Usually I dont post things___________________________________________________________________
26.1 dont post anything on Facebook so I wouldnt know___________________________________________
27. So someone can see it
28. - credibility
- world concern
- awareness
29. If its funny.________________________________________________________________________________
30. If it would pique the interest of my friends or not.__________________________________________
31. If its really funny._________________________________________________________________________
32. If its important to me I will share it, others might not want to see it but its my page and I post what I want.
33. If I like it I share it
34. If I think other people need to see it._______________________________________________________
35.1 dont really know why I still have Facebook._________________________________________________
36. Is it worth discussing?_______________________________________________________________________
37. How relevant, reliable the source is__________________________________________________________
38. My friends feeling___________________________________________________________________________
39.1 dont really share anything on Facebook._____________________________________________________
40. Is it respectful and beautiful?_______________________________________________________________
41. Is it something noteworthy like a new hair cut or some kind of family issue. If I am responding to
comments on an upcoming event with my friends I mostly use Facebook for this reason.______________
42. Appropriate, will offend anyone or not, is it same idea as what I think.______________________
43.1 just dont. I shared one thing in like a year and it had to do with a movie about school shootings
and stopping the production of it, or something like that.________________________________________
44. 1. Is it interest me?
2. Does others will like it?
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3. Is it meaningful?__________________________________________________________________________
45. If it something I find funny or important_________________________________________________
46. Who reads and time________________________________________________________________________
47. Is it appropriate? Are people going to enjoy it? Is it important?_________________________
48. If future employers see something that makes me un-hireable, I wont even consider posting it.
49. - Will people enjoy it
- Do I relate to it
- Is it funny/informative_____________________________________________________________________
50. It has to relate to me and not offend anyone I am friends with____________________________
51. Authenticity, presentation, context_______________________________________________________
52. Nothing___________________________________________________________________________________
53. - If it is humorous
- about God
- about my family
- cute
- interesting_________________________________________________________________________________
54. Is it worth sharing? I rarely every post or share anything._______________________________
55. The content and how relevant to my life___________________________________________________
56. Relevant to today/controversial issue_____________________________________________________
57. - has to apply to me as a person
- nothing too biased that would offend anyone_________________________________________________
58. Do I care enough?_________________________________________________________________________
59. If its really funny______________________________________________________________________
60. If its funny, and if its appropriate____________________________________________________
61. Will people like it_______________________________________________________________________
62. They are of interest to me and spread awareness___________________________________________
63. Word choice and content___________________________________________________________________
64. If it is funny or entertaining____________________________________________________________
65. If it makes me laugh______________________________________________________________________
66. If its content my friends on Facebook would like to see._________________________________
67. If certain friends will see the post or not.______________________________________________
68. My only deciding factor is if people will care about the post_____________________________
69.1 try not sharing posts I think will offend someone._______________________________________
70. Dont share things usually________________________________________________________________
71. -its funny -its cute
-its interesting_____________________________________________________________________________
72. What family members will see and other people (professional)______________________________
73. If its interesting to large group of my friends__________________________________________
74. If I deem it important enough_____________________________________________________________
75. It depends how important it is and I think of the people that would see it._______________
76. Wo my intended audience is and who will see it____________________________________________
77. If it is appropriate so my family doesnt get upset_______________________________________
78.1 dont really post on Facebook even if something interests me I just hit like and thats pretty
much it_______________________________________________________________________________________
79.1 dont share a Facebook post______________________________________________________________
80. Is it really that important? Do I really care? Who will care?_____________________________
81.1 do not decide anything. I just post._____________________________________________________
82.1 dont share._____________________________________________________________________________
83. Who will see it? Will anyone be offended?_________________________________________________
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84.1 dont_____________________________________________________________________________________
85. If it is interesting, if it is offensive.__________________________________________________
86. Is it credible? Likely confirmation bias___________________________________________________
87. If it is acceptable for the audience to see and know that them seeing it infers I agree with it
88. Interest anyone else would have in it._____________________________________________________
89. Is it relevant_____________________________________________________________________________
90. Do I find it interesting? Could it help those around me? Is it important? Is it funny or cute?
91. Who will appreciate the story I post? Is it offensive? Was it funny enough?________________
92. If I like it and think its appropriate to share.__________________________________________
93. Is controversial? Does it represent my opinion well?_______________________________________
94. Is it really that important________________________________________________________________
95. Why does anyone else care about this topic?________________________________________________
96. If I think it is relevant to me or anyone I know___________________________________________
97. - peoples reactions
- or the way a story may be interpreted________________________________________________________
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Full Text

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OPINIONS ON CRIME AND CRIMINALS THROUGH FACEBOOK NEWS MEDIA: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY b y JACQUELINE SILBERMANN B.A., Metropolitan State University of Denver, 2011 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Sociology Program 2016

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ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by J acqueline Silbermann has been approved for the Sociology Program by Candan Duran Aydintug, Chair Kari Alexander Leigh Ingram December 17, 2016

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iii Silbermann, Jacqueline (M.A., Sociology) Opinions on Crime and Criminals Through Facebook News Media: An Exploratory Study Thesis directed by Associate Professor Candan Duran Aydintug ABSTRACT Crime has long been an important topic in American society. The way in which television and print media has covered crime throughout histor y has influenced the way in which the general public views criminals and criminal acts. In recent years, Facebook has become the main source of news for over half of the United States population yet there has been no research into how crime news shared vi a Facebook influences public opinion. The cultivation hypothesis has been used to explain the relationship between opinions on crime and criminals and television viewership and should be reexamined in the context of Facebook and social media. This preliminary study uses two variations of one questionnaire to gain insight into the Facebook habits, news consumption, and opinions of a suspected criminal featured on Facebook. Using a convenience sample of 231 undergraduate students, it was determined that whi le respondents believe that Facebook is a less reliable news source than traditional news, more respondents are using Facebook as their primary news source than television or newspaper. Respondents were also more likely to believe a criminal suspect was somewhat likely or very likely to be guilty of the crime he was accused of as described on Facebook if they were not shown Facebook user comments along with the Facebook post. Results from this study indicate that further research into the influence of Faceb ook on opinions of crime and criminals is necessary in order to understand the impact on a broader social scale. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Candan DuranAydintug

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iv DEDICATION To my beshtie, Bra dy.

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v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am thankful to many people who have supported me along my academic journey. Professor John Ratliff, my professor for Sociology 101 and Rachel Lehman, who showed the pervasiveness of sociology. There are some people in the academic world whose influence, assistance, patience, and kindness have not only helped me with my studies, but have bled through to all areas of my life. Candan DuranAydintug has been not only a fantastic teacher, but has been cheerleader, guidance counselor, and friend. Her support ha s meant the world and I can say for certain that I would not be here today had it not been for her. Many thanks to my other committee members, Leigh Ingram and Kari Alexander; I am so grateful for your time, attention, and patience! Nick V., who has answe red many questions when Google was just a click away; thank you for your help, it means more than you know. Tina Hartt, who started this Masters program with me what seems like a million years ago seeing your smiling face in classes throughout the years served as a source of calm for me in a world that can be all too overwhelming. Shoshanna and Nova, who I will always consider mentors in the P.D. world your spirit and heart for the clients we serve(d) are unmatched. Your belief in me literally changed the course of my life, whether you believe it or not.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................1 II. LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................................3 Crime ..................................................................................................................3 Media ................................................................................................................5 Juries ..................................................................................................................7 Facebook ..........................................................................................................10 III. METHODS .....................................................................................................12 Background ......................................................................................................12 Instrument .......................................................................................................12 Procedure and Rationale .................................................................................14 Sample .............................................................................................................14 IV. RESULTS .......................................................................................................16 Facebook Habits Graphs and Tables ................................................................16 News Consumption Graphs and Tables ..........................................................29 Response to Facebook Post Graphs and Tables ..............................................34 V. DISCUSSION ..................................................................................................44 Conclusions, Contributions, and Future Research ...........................................49 REFERENCES ........................................................................................................................50 APPENDIX ..............................................................................................................................55 A. Questionnaires and Voluntary Consent ...................................................................55 B. Codebooks ...............................................................................................................66 C. Questions 17: Demographic Tables and Charts ....................................................76 D. Question 18: Write in Responses ...........................................................................83

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The debate surrounding media coverage and criminal trial proceedings has been ongoing for nearly a century (Borgida, DeBono, and Buckman, 1990:489). M edia coverage has been controversial in that it can turn regular court proceedings into carnival like atmospheres ( Borgida et al. 1990:489). The 1935 murder trial of a man named Bruno Hauptmann was one of the first trials to be heavily covered by national news media. Hauptmann was accused of kidnapping the child of Charles Lindbergh and was eventually executed, after o ne of the most infamous media trial cases to date (Surette 1989:301). In addition to the chaos media coverage can bring to a courtroom, there can also be legal consequences; media coverage has contributed to many mistrials and overturned convictions throug hout history (Borgida et al. 1990:489). In the more recent past, social media has emerged as a problematic aspect of criminal court trials Social media has been defined as a group of internet based applications that build on the ideological and technolog ical foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010:61) Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are used by millions of individuals as well as countless organi zations and businesses. Network news stations, newspapers, and magazines of all types also have Facebook pages through which they disseminate news stories, including crime news. Recognized television networks including NBC, CBS, and ABC, their local affili ate stations, as well as nationally distributed newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times all have Facebook and Twitter accounts which are updated daily, if not several times a day (Gangadharbatla, Bright, and Logan, 2014:46). While s tatistics show that 57% of American adults have a Facebook account and 64% of those users access their account daily,

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2 there is little known about how Facebook posts by news networks providing crime information can e ffect public opinion towards crime and cr iminals (Smith, 2014). In the relatively short amount of time that social media sites such as Facebook have been active, criminal courts have seen dozens of cases declared mistrials or have had verdicts overturned as an effect of social media (Nuss 2001; Grow, 2014). Research into the influence social media has on juries or the opinions of the general public on crime is nearly nonexistent but is critical to understand in order to provide criminal defendants with their constitutional right to due pr ocess.

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3 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Crime Crime is as much a public issue as it is a private issue (Sacco, 1995:142). Crime has an economic impact on the public through tax dollars used for prisons, legal defense of the indigent, probation costs for misdemeanor offenders, and funding for the polic e, among other expenses. Crime can also have an emotional effect on the public. In 2012, a Colorado movie theater was the scene of a horrendous crime in which dozens of people were shot, some fatally. The crime garnered national attention and as the crimi nal court proceedings played out, emotions ran high; not only for the victims of the crime and their surviving family members, but for the general population in Colorado and around the nation. The crime was tragic and left a lasting impact on many people, as have many other similar crimes. A crime committed by one person can quickly turn into a political issue, a healthcare issue (specifically mental health), or even an educational issue, all of which are very public. Crime is something that has always ca ptivated the general public. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, there have been few other issues which demand as much public attention as crime (Blumstein and Cohen, 1980:223). Throughout the decades of punishment reform and public demands for more efficient crime control, it has become clear that the U.S. is a natio n whose battle with crime is never ending. Regardless of crime trends, which have fluctuated over the past several decades, people tend to believe that crime is increasing whether it is or is not, and the fear of crime remains a major problem facing the nation One of the main causes of the heightened awareness and fear of crime comes from the media. The media provide their audience the general public with crime stories that are dramatic and often violent, and rarely does the media concern themselves wi th sharing the entire, factual

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4 story. James D. Orcutt and J. Blake Turner (1993) found in their research on print media that claims making activity is prevalent in media reports, especially regarding crime, and the manner in which news is presented can c ontribute to societal misconceptions (204). Often, news is reported with biased information, misleading statements, or without context which many people in the general public are not perceptive or informed enough to distinguish from full facts. A 1997 st udy on audience effects found that there are several factors which play into the publics fear of crime as influenced by the media (Chiricos, Eschholz, and Gertz). Using several forms of media as their variables (including television, radio, and print news ), Chricos et al. found that media reports in and of themselves do not cause an increase in fear of crime, but the individual audience member consuming the media messages constructs the information according to their personal experiences, beliefs, and inte rests (Chricos et al., 1997:354). While each audience member may perceive the news they read, watch, or hear differently based on their own constructions, other studies have found that television medias influence is profound (OKeefe and ReidNash, 1987:158; Orcutt and Turner, 1993). OKeefe and Reid Nash (1987) found evidence to support the idea that audience members who watch televised crime news coverage are more likely to be fearful of crime (158). The authors used secondary data taken from a 1985 crim e prevention study which included over 1,000 adults from three metropolitan U.S. cities, as well as a separate study on citizen orientation towards crime, to determine how media portrayals of crime and criminals could shape audience perceptions (OKeefe and Reid Nash, 1987:147,152). Their analysis examined television viewership as well as newspaper consumption and controlled for demographics and past experiences with crime or victimization (OKeefe and Reid Nash,

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5 1987:152). OKeefe and ReidNash (1987) f ound that while newspaper consumption did not appear to have a significant effect on fear of crime, television news consumption was strongly correlated with an increased fear of crime (159). Fear of crime, perceived risk of victimization, and the way in wh ich crime is presented to society seem to share some relationship, although studies disagree on where the correlation lies. Ray Surette (1989) posits that media is a socializing agent which shapes society and that crimerelated media serves a critical ro le in the social definition of crime and criminals (298). Media The media, specifically television news, has long been a part of Americans lives. It was in the 1980s though that news became a profitable, sustainable television product (Britto and Dabney, 2010:199). The discovery of news as a money making enterprise changed the face and content of news reporting. In the past, news had been reported as facts, but as pressure to gain ratings and audiences grew larger it became necessary to not o nly inform, but to entertain. Crime news had long been a topic of news broadcasts and the new format called for more intriguing crime reporting. In the 80s, we entered a time of tabloid justice, which place[d] the focus on entertainment rather than on factual information (Britto and Dabney, 2010:199). It was during the 80s and 90s that soft news programs such as Inside Edition and A Current Affair went onair and began national reporting of sensationalized violent crime, among other arguably less e ntertaining stories (Britto and Dabney, 2010:1999). Eventually, crime became an entire genre of television shows and the nation was introduced to true crime and fictional crime programs such as, COPS Law and Order and Peoples Court

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6 There is extensive r esearch into the relationships between the media and the way in which it shapes the opinions of the general public. One of the most widely researched concepts is the cultivation hypothesis (Gerbner and Gross, 1976; Potter, 1986; OKeefe and Reid Nash, 1987; Ogloff and Vidmar, 1994; Brewer and Ley, 2009; Kort Bulter and Sittner Hartshorn, 2011). The cultivation hypothesis suggests that television content exerts a continuous force on peoples minds and thereby influences the way individuals see the world (P otter, 1986:159). Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, and Signorelli (1980) found that the more time a person devotes to watching television, or living in the world of television, the more likely they are to report perceptions of social reality which can be traced to (or are congruent with) televisions most persistent representations of life and society (14). This finding was the basis for the cultivation hypothesis OKeefe and Reid Nashs 1987 study also found evidence to support the cultivation hypothesis (OKe efe and Reid Nash, 1987:158). They found that while those who received the majority of their news information from newspapers were not significantly affected by the medias reporting, in terms of their fear of crime, those viewers who primarily received n ews information from television were more likely to be fearful of crime or victimization (OKeefe and Reid Nash, 1987:158). Not all studies are in agreement that the cultivation hypothesis explains an increase in fear of crime or victimization. Lisa KortButler and Kelly J. Sittner Hartshorn (2011) found that crime news viewership did not predict fear of crime in audience members (45). The y did find, however, statistical evidence that crime drama (fictional television) viewership is correlated with suppor t for the death penalty (Kort Butler and Sittner Hartshorn, 2011:45). The authors opine that because news and nonfictional crime stories tend to offer context, viewers are less likely to support capital punishment because they are able to consider

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7 mitigating factors of the case (Kort Bulter and Sittner Hartshorn, 2011:51). Kort Butler and Sittner Hartshorns (2011) study had limitations, including a nonrepresentative sample from Nebraska, which they acknowledged (52). Additionally, while they analyzed som e crime news, their study focused on crime dramas and nonfictional crime television shows intended solely for entertainment. Despite their findings, the overwhelming majority of research supports the idea that much of what the public believes about crime is constructed by the media (Sacco, 1995:145). The relationship between the media and public opinions of crime becomes an issue when the media influences the publics opinions so much that jury impartiality is endangered. Juries As expected of a fundamen tal element of the fair operation of the United States justice system, juries have been widely studied The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that all people accused of crimes will, enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury (U.S. Constitution). Perhaps the most important element to the guarantee U.S. citizens receive is that the jury should b e free from prejudice or bias against the defendant, able to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant based solely on the evidence and testimony presented at trial (Brown, 2013:810). Research has shown that a number of factors, including pretrial publicity, can unfortunately encourage bias in jury members, tainting that guarantee (Stabley, Besirevic, Fulero, and Jiminez Lorente, 1999; Ruva, Guenther, and Yarbrough, 2011; Blais and Forth, 2014). The way in which a defendant is portrayed to a jury has been shown to have an effect on the outcome of the trial (Blais and Forth, 2014). Julie Blais and Adele Forth (2014) surveyed 295 college students about their opinions of the credibility of testimonies in

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8 simulated jury trial transcripts in an effort to show the potential labeling has on a criminal defendant (123). Respondents in the study were also asked to deliver a verdict and recommend punishment and/or treatment for the defendant, based on the testimonies they read. The transcripts provided to the respondents included testimony from victims, witnesses, an expert, and the defendant. The expert testimony in half of the transcripts described the defendant as a psychopath and the other half did not include a suggested diagnosis (128). The authors found that respondents were significantly more likely to find the defendant guilty if an expert described the defendant as psychopathic (Blais and Forth, 2014:128). Their findings support their claims that labeling, especially by someone described as an exper t, can have extreme ramifications in a court room. Analyses of criminal defendants are not only used during trials; crimes that receive heightened media attention may be subjected to expert analysis by parties who are largely unfamiliar with all of the facts of the cases. Popular television networks such as NBC and CNN, employ specialized correspondents given the title of expert, who, often without complete case information, make assumptions about the case and defendant on television shows such as 60 M inutes and 20/20. The expert analyses are broadcast to national audiences potentially creating biases based on inaccurate and incomplete information. Jurors, as members of the general public, are potentially as likely to read or watch a media report as any other member of society. The effects of pretrial publicity have been studied for decades and most empirical studies agree that it disproportionately causes pro prosecution biases in jurors (Moran and Cutler, 1991; Ogloff and Vidmar 1994; Bruschke and Loges, 1999; Hope, Memon, and McGeorge, 2004; and Ruva and LeVasseur, 2012). Pretrial publicity has not been explicitly defined but the inferred meaning is: any media

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9 reporting of a crime or criminal defendant prior to the court trial. In a recent study on the effects of pretrial publicity on jury deliberations, Christine Ruva and Michelle LeVesseur (2012) found that in mock jury deliberations, jurors spent a significant amount of time discussing pretrial publicity of the defendant and case (445446). Ruva and LeVesseur (2012) posit that pretrial publicity establishes a framework through which a jury is able to put a criminal case into context (445). This can be harmful to a defendant as the testimonies and evidence provided to a jury during a trial are intended to be the only information considered during the deliberations. The discussions of pretrial publicity in the jury deliberations of the mock jurors in Ruva and LeVesseurs study varied, however all of the jurors did, in one way or another, bring up t he pretrial publicity of the defendant (Ruva and LeVesseur, 2012: 445). Even when jurors acknowledged that they were discussing pretrial publicity and not the facts of the case as presented during the trial and as testified to in court, they used the pretr ial publicity information to fill in gaps that they believed were left out in trial proceedings (Ruva and LeVesseur, 2012: 445). While this research exhibits several different legal implications, the most critical finding is that jurors are using pretria l publicity to decrease their ambiguity about the case which they are hearing (Ruva and LeVesseur, 2012: 446). When the standard of proof in a criminal court case is reasonable doubt ambiguity is potentially a goal of the defense and by jurors using pretr ial publicity to gain insight, it is instilling a pro prosecution bias. While the literature regarding pretrial publicity overwhelmingly points to the potential problems it creates, Jon Bruschke and William E. Loges (1999) found that there is not a significant difference in conviction rates between murder cases with high rates of pretrial publicity and those murder cases with no pretrial publicity (Bruschke and Loges,

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10 1999:114). They suggest that this finding could be due to inconsistencies between actua l trials and laboratory studies (Bruschke and Loges, 1999:115). Bruschke and Loges (1999) examined over 130 homicide cases and conducted an analysis on available data found in court records and newspaper or other print articles. The authors conceded that t hey were unable to include television news in their analysis which presented flaws in their research findings (Bruschke and Loges, 1999:111). Additionally, they could not be certain that cases included in their sample as, no publicity were not included a s an oversight (Bruschke and Loges, 1999:111). Bruschke and Loges study is one that finds there may not be an effect on jury trials from pretrial publicity among dozens of study which do find an effect. Even they s uggest though, that as media evolves stu dies similar to theirs must also evolve. As of this writing, there are only speculative legal arguments and opinions regarding the potential biases created through social media In the Texan Wesleyan Law Review Kristen Brown (2013) argues that social media compounds our communities, increasing the likelihood for potential jurors to be exposed to damaging or libelous pretrial publicity (4). Facebook Facebook and other social media websites have expanded our communities from geographical locations and kinship relationships to glocalized networks of people (Brown, 2013:4). As of February 2014, fifty seven percent of all American adults have a Facebook account and sixty four percent of those individuals access their account daily (Smith, 2014). Facebook reports that as of June, 2016, there are 1.13 billion active users per day, worldwide (Facebook Newsroom). Facebook has become a social media giant used for communicating with friends, photo sharing, and more recently, news dissemination. A 2012 study found se venty one percent of respondents reported that one of their main reasons for using

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11 Facebook was to keep up to date on the news (Hermida, Fletcher, Korell, and Logan, 2012:819). Studies on young populations, specifically Gen Y, have found that they are us ing social media more frequently than all other forms of media, such as television or newspapers, to get their news (Gangadharbatla, et al., 2014:60). George Lazaroiu argues that news is becoming a social activity and that because breaking news coverage is instantly available, reliability of the information is called into question (Lazaroiu, 2014:104,107). Surprisingly, despite the widespread use of Facebook, there have been very little studies conducted on its relationship to many social phenomena, crime included. A scan of Facebook pages will show that nearly all news networks have an active Facebook account that is updated several times daily. Television news stations, which only broadcast at prescheduled times each day, generally have time to review and verify any information obtained by journalists regarding crime before it is reported (Lazaroiu, 2014:107). Conversely, on Facebook, news outlets often report only small details about the commission of a crime and update as more information is made avai lable, or found to be false. This is a problem because details can be inaccurately reported initially; both genuine news and misinformation have equal potential to be posted on Facebook as verification of facts is often overlooked in the race to post new s stories (Lazaroiu, 2014:106). Reporting breaking news coverage on the internet has become a competition according to Ray Maratea (2008) and Facebook pages have become the most efficient manner in which to quickly reach a large audience, despite the frequ ent reporting of inaccuracies (140).

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12 CHAPTER III METHODS Background In order to begin the process of studying the relationship between Facebook and its influence on criminal court cases a determination of whether Facebook creates a significant amount of pretrial publicity must be made. The resea rch question, does social media contribute to public opinions of crime and criminals, is intentionally broad. By beginning with a broad research question, the data collected will narrow the scope and allow for more directed future research. In order to work towards an ans wer to the research question, I determined that survey exam ining the general usership of one social media platform, F acebook, and the engagement of the users would be an appropriate starting poi nt. Instrument Two questionnaires were developed in order to explore the idea that Facebook user comments influence other Facebook users opinions. For ease in referencing each questionnaire I will refer to them as Q1 and Q2. Both questionnaires begi n with an informed consent statement and respondents were told verbally, prior to receiving the questionnaire that their participation was voluntary and they were not obligated to answer any questions. Q1 is comprised of twenty nine questions and Q2 ha s twenty seven questions. The first seven questions on e ach questionnaire ask the respondent for basic demographic data including gender, race, age, marital status, employment status, college enrollment status, and political party affiliation. With th e exc eption of age, all of the demographic questions are multiple choice and a writein line is provided when appropriate. All respondents were college students at the University of Colorado Denver when they took the survey ; if the questionnaire were to be dist ributed in another setting, the question regarding their college

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13 enrollment status could be altered to inquire about their level of education or removed completely if deemed appropriate for the sample. The next fourteen questions appear on both questionnaires and were designed to gather information about the respondents Facebook habits and news consumption. These questions are made up of a variety of types including interval scale, multiple choice, open ended, and Likert scal e. Both questionnaires include a Facebook post from a news station which shows a picture of a murder suspect along with a twosentence headline written by the news station I located the news article on an actual news stations Facebook page and then changed the names of the parties i nvolved prior to completion of the questionnaire ; no other details from the original post were altered I selected the post because of the severity of the crime age, race, and appearance of the pictured suspect, and the variety of Facebook user comments on the original post I was able to determine that the suspect in th e original Facebook post was cleared of the charges against him and his case was no longer pending. Q1 include s select comments from the Faceboo k post and Q2 does not include any comments The name and photo of the Facebook user who posted a comment was blocked out prior to distribution of the questionnaires. No other comment details were altered. Because Q1 includes the comments section, two ques tions on Q1 as k specifically if the respondent would reply to any of the comments provided and, if so, what their reply would be. Both questionnaires conclude with three questions regarding the respondents likelihood to post or respond to the original new s station post or the comments made by other Facebook users.

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14 Procedure and Rationale A total of 231 surveys were completed by respondents in three separate undergraduate level sociology classes. In order to obtain the sample, I emailed professors in the S ociology department at the University of Colorado Denver to ask if they would be willing to allow me to spend no more than thirty minutes in the ir classroom to distribute the questionnaire. There were three professors who were willing to allow me to come to one of their classes to distribute the questionnaire s Each professor provided me with the number of students enrolled in their classes; two classes had under sixty students enrolled and one class had approximately 130 students enrolled. Based on the e nrollment numbers, I determined that Q1 would be distributed to the two smaller classes and Q2 would be distributed to the large class in an effort to obtain relatively equal numbers of responses for each questionnaire. All three professors were provided w ith a digital copy of both questionnaires for their review before they were passed out in the classes. In each of the three classes, respondents were verbally told by both myself and their professor that participation in the questionnaire was voluntary a nd that they would receive no extra credit or preference for participating. I explained to the respondents that the results of the questionnaire w ould be analyzed as part of my Masters Thesis. Respondents were told that if they had been present in another class in which the questionnaire had been distributed, they should not complete a second questionnaire. Sample A total of 231 respondents from the University of Colorado Denver campus completed either Q1 or Q2 A total of 66% of the sample identifies as female and 33% identifies as male; two self identifying non binary respondents participated and one person

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15 declined to answer the gender question. CU Denver reports that the Fall 2016 undergraduate enrollment is c omprised of 48% male and 52% female students ( CU Quick Facts). Of the 231 total participants, 55% reported that they are nonwhite while 40% identified as white or Caucasian; CU Denver reports that 43% of undergraduates are students of color (CU Quick Fact s). Refer to Appendix C for complete demographic information and charts. Because of time constraints and the necessity of using a cost effective sampling method, a convenience sample was the most logical choice. This research is only preliminary and future research would demand not only a larger sample, but a more representative one in order to create generalizability and reduce potential bias. A drawback of using this convenience sampling method is that the sample is not representative of the campus population nor the greater Denver areas general population, as shown in the gender and race statistics The questionnaires were distributed to three different classes; Q1 to two small classes and Q2 to one large class. While the classes were all undergraduate sociology courses, their levels varied (1000level vs. 3000level). Rather than distribute the questionnaires to different classes based on enrollment numbers, it would have been beneficial to distribute both questionnaires to all of the classes but to al ternating students. Students in introductory or lower level courses may have different views on crimerelated topics than students in upper level courses. By distributing both questionnaires to alternating students in all classes, the sampling bias could have been better controlled

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16 CHAPTER IV RESULTS A convenience sample of three undergraduatelevel sociology classes was used for the purposes of this research. The classes in which Q1 was distributed had a total of 110 students enrolled 101 of which completed the questionnaire, or 91% of the sample. Q2 was distributed to a class with 172 students enrolled and 130 questionnaires were completed, or 76% of the sample. Attendance was not taken in any of the classes the day that the questionnaire was distributed and it is unknown how many students were given a questionnaires but did not fill it out. A review of the questionnaires for completeness showed that no students started the questionnaire and did not complete it; one respondent answere d all questions by checking the refusal box and their answers were included in the final analysis. A total of 231 questionnaires were included in the data analysis; 101 Q1 questionnaires and 130 Q2 questionnaires. Facebook Habits Questions 818 on both questionnaires were designed to explore the Facebook habits of the respondents. Questions were intended to measure the respondents frequency of use, network size, posting and commenting habits, and opinions on the reliability of news information posted on Facebook.

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17 8. Do you have an active Facebook account? Overall, 89% of the respondents report having an active Facebook account; 88% for Q1, or 90 respondents and 90% for Q2, or 118 respondents. This is shown in Table One. Table 1 Active Facebook account? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Yes 89 117 No 11 11 Refusal 1 2 Total 101 130 Q1 Do you have an active Facebook account? Yes No Refusal Q2 Do you have an active Facebook account? Yes No Refusal

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18 9. How do you access Facebook most often? Seventy two percent of respondents with an active Facebook account report that they access Facebook most often from their cell phone; 74% for Q1 and 71% for Q2. This is followed by 12% reporting that they access Facebook from a laptop or desktop computer; 12% for both Q1 and Q2. Table 2 How do you access Facebook? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Desktop or Laptop computer 12 15 Tablet 1 0 Cell phone 76 101 Other 0 2 Refusal 1 0 Total 90 118 Q1 How do you access Facebook most often? Desktop or laptop computer Tablet Cell Phone Other Refusal Q2 How do you access Facebook most often? Desktop or laptop computer Tablet Cell Phone Other Refusal

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19 10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? The number of Facebook friends reported by respondents has the most variation; the majority of respondents, 21%, report having 500 or more Facebook friends; 18% for Q1 and 24% for Q2. Those in the minority, 12%, report having 99 or less friends; 12% for both Q1 and Q2. Table 3 Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 0 99 12 15 100 199 16 16 200 299 19 21 300 399 16 19 400 499 9 16 500 or more 18 31 Total 90 118 Q1 Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? 0-99 100-199 200-299 300-399 400-499 500 or more Q2 Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? 0-99 100-199 200-299 300-399 400-499 500 or more

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20 11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Sixty eight percent of respondents log on to Facebook once per day or more; 64% of Q1 and 71% for Q2. Only 6% of respondents report rarely or never logging into their Facebook account; 6% for both Q1 and Q2; whereas 9% report logging on several times per hour; 4% for Q1 and 12% for Q2. Table 4 How often do you log into/check Facebook? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Rarely or never 6 8 Less than once per week 9 7 One to six times per week 10 11 Once per day 17 16 Several times per day, less than hourly 37 55 Once per hour 7 5 Several times per hour 4 16 Total 90 118 Q1 How often do you log into/check Facebook? Rarely or Never Less than once per week One to six times per week Once per day Several times per day, less than hourly Once per hour Several times per hour Q2 How often do you log into/check Facebook? Rarely or Never Less than once per week One to six times per week Once per day Several times per day, less than hourly Once per hour Several times per hour

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21 12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? Eighty four percent of respondents spend two hours or less per day on Facebook; 87% for Q1 and 81% for Q2. Overall, one percent of the respondents report spending seven or more hours per day on Facebook. Table 5 Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Less than one hour 61 56 1 2 hours 18 40 3 4 hours 9 16 5 6 hours 2 3 7 8 hours 0 2 More than 8 hours 0 1 Total 90 118 Q1 Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? Less than one hour 1-2 hours 3-4 hours 5-6 hours 7-8 hours More than 8 hours Q2 Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? Less than one hour 1-2 hours 3-4 hours 5-6 hours 7-8 hours More than 8 hours

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22 13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you (Seeing updates and comments from your friends/network; Keeping upto date with news and current events; Sharing with many people at once [ photos, videos, status updates, etc. ] ; Seeing entert aining/funny posts; Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends). Q1 respondents indicated that connecting or reconne cting with family and friends and seeing entertaining/funny posts, respectfully were their top reasons for using Facebook. The Q2 respondents indicated that their most important reasons for using Facebook are seeing entertaining/funny posts and seeing updates and comments from Facebook friends/network. Ninety respondents from Q1 were eligible for the question, based on their response to question 8 (Do you have an active Facebook account?) and 118 respondents from Q1 were eligible. Several respondents used check marks instead of a numerical ranking system to answer the question which does not indicate the reasons are most important to them. Similarly, many respondents used all ones or all fives, for example, to answer the question. Seventy three responses from Q1, or 81% of the sample, and 94 responses from Q2, or 80% of the sample, were used for analysis of this question.

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23 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Friends/Network updates News and current events Sharing Entertaining/funny posts Connecting with family and friendsQ1 Reasons for using Facebook Least Important Most Important 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Friends/Network updates News and current events Sharing Entertaining/funny posts Connecting with family and friendsQ2 Reasons for using Facebook Least Important Most Important Table 6

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24 14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? Forty percent of respondents report that they rarely or never post status updates on Facebook; 37% for Q1 and 42% for Q2. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 More than once per day 1 1 Daily 3 5 Weekly 16 15 Monthly 14 13 Rarely or Never 54 80 Other 2 3 Refusal 0 1 Total 90 118 Q1 How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? More than once per day Daily Weekly Monthly Rarely or never Other Q2 How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? More than once per day Daily Weekly Monthly Rarely or never Other Refusal Table 7

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25 15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? Fifty five percent of respondents Facebook posts are private; 57% for Q1 and 55% for Q2. Are your Facebook posts public or private? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Public 28 41 Private 57 71 Other 4 6 Refusal 1 0 Total 90 118 Q1 Are your Facebook posts public or private? Public Private Other Refusal Q2 Are your Facebook posts public or private? Public Private Other Table 8

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26 16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? Most respondents, 63%, report that they sometimes read posts shared by news stations; 61% for Q1 and 64% for Q2. Only 12% of Q1 respondents and 9% of Q2 respondents report that they never read news station posts that appear in their feed. How often do you read posts by news station that appear on your Facebook page? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Always 17 21 Sometimes 62 83 Never 11 11 Other 0 3 Total 90 118 Q1 How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? Always Sometimes Never Q2 How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? Always Sometimes Never Other Table 9

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27 17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? Forty five percent of respondents reported that they are unlikely to share a news story, even if it interests them; 47% from Q1 and 43% from Q2. Forty one percent are likely to share a news story; 38% from Q1 and 43% from Q2. How likely are you to s hare a news story on your Facebook page? Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Very likely 17 17 Somewhat likely 21 39 Somewhat unlikely 18 14 Very unlikely 29 42 Other 5 4 Refusal 0 2 Total 90 118 Q1 How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely Other Q2 How likely are you share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely Other Refusal Table 10

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28 18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post. Eighty two of the Q1 respondents out of the eligible ninety seven (based on their response to question eight) and ninety Q2 respondents out of the eligible 118 answered th is question. After analyzing the responses, six themes of deciding factors considered before sharing a Facebook post emerged. Twenty six percent of both the Q1 and Q2 respondents indicated that a post needs to be important, meaningful, and/or worthwhile in order for them to share it. Twenty three percent of Q1 respondents and 28% of Q2 respondents indicated that the source the post derived from or the audience that it would be shar ed with were important factors for them. The other themes that emerged are: if the po st is appropriate or could be considered offensive ( Q1 16% Q2 18% ); whether or not the post is funny or entertaining ( Q1 13% Q2 10% ) ; sharing only to be able to come bac k to the post at a later date or for reference ( Q1 5% Q2 0% ); and if the post is an accurate reflection of the users beliefs and/or opinions ( Q1 3% Q2 10% ). Many respondents included more than one reason for sharing a post and several responded that the y never share Facebook posts. If a respondent gave more than one reason, all reasons were counted in the analysis. If a respondent indicated that they do not share posts, their answer was only counted towards the total number of responses and not coded for a separate theme of not sharing. For a complete list of answers from both Q1 and Q2, refer to Appendix B Table 11 Sharing Considerations Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Funny/Entertaining 12 12 Appropriate/Offensive 14 21 View Later/Reference 4 0 Source/Audience 21 34 Reflective of Own Opinions 3 12 Important/Worthwhile/Meaningful 23 31 Refusal 15 28

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29 News Consumption Questions 19 and 20 on both questionnaires were designed to explore how respondents receive their news and from which sources. Question 21 on both questionnaires was designed to measure the respondents perceived reliability of news posted on Facebook. 19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Fifty nine percent of the respondents overall report not liking any local news stations Facebook pages. Of the local news stations, 9News (KUSA ) is the most liked page with 12% of respondents reporting that they like it; 9% for Q1 and 16% for Q2. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Channel 2 CBS4 Denver 7 9 News Fox 31 Other I do not like or follow any Denver news RefusalQ1 Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Table 12

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30 Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply Q1 n=90 Q2 n=118 Channel 2 News (KWGN) 6 3 CBS4 Denver (KCNC) 7 6 Denver 7 News (KMGH) 14 21 9News (KUSA) 26 43 Fox 31 (KDVR) 11 18 Other 4 3 I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook 56 65 Refusal 11 13 Total 135 172 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Channel 2 CBS4 Denver 7 9 News Fox 31 Other I do not like or follow any Denver news RefusalQ2 Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook?

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31 20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? While over half of the respondents report that they do not like local news stations Facebook pages, 35% of them report that they get the majority of their news from social media websites; 38% for Q1 and 32% for Q2. Eighteen percent of the respondents report Facebook specifically as the social media site they get the majority of their news from; 19% for Q1 and 17% for Q2. Sixteen percent of respondents report that local television news is their main source for news; 17% for Q1 and 15% for Q2. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Print Newspaper, local Print Newspaper, national Facebook Other social media sites/apps Television, local programs Television, national or international Other I do not follow local or national news RefusalQ1 From which source do you get the majority of your news? 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Print Newspaper, local Print Newspaper, national Facebook Other social media sites/apps Television, local programs Television, national or international Other I do not follow local or national news RefusalQ2 From which source do you get the majority of your news? Table 13

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32 From which source do you get the majority of your news? Q1 Q2 Print newspaper, local 2 2 Print newspaper, national 4 7 Facebook 28 44 Other social media sites/apps 25 35 Television, local programs 25 39 Television, national or international programs 17 24 Other 16 17 I do not follow local or national news 10 7 Refusal 1 2 Total 128 177

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33 Q2 Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than traditional news sources? Much less reliable Slightly less reliable Equally as reliable Slightly more reliable Much more reliable Refusal Table 14 21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional news sources such as television or newspaper? Sixty nine percent of respondents feel that news posted on Facebook is less reliable than news found throug h traditional news sources; 71% for Q1 and 68% for Q2. Only 3% of the respondents feel that Facebook is more reliable than traditional news sources; 3% for Q1 and 2% for Q2. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than traditional news source s Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Much less reliable 21 31 Slightly less reliable 51 57 Equally as reliable 25 36 Slightly more reliable 2 1 Much more reliable 1 2 Refusal 1 3 Total 101 130 Q1 Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than traditional news sources? Much less reliable Slightly less reliable Equally as reliable Slightly more reliable Much more reliable Refusal

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34 Response to Facebook Post For questions 2228 on Q1 and 2227 on Q2, respondents were asked to refer to a Facebook post included in the questionnaire. The photo and post was taken from a real news stations Facebook page but the names included in the text were changed for privacy r easons.

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35 22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? Seventy percent of Q1 respondents reported that they were unable to form an opinion on the suspect based on the information provided while only 30% of Q2 respondents reported the same. Forty six percent of Q2 respondents reported that they believe the suspect is somewhat or very likely to be guilty of the crime described whereas only 19% of Q1 respondents fe lt the same. Overall, 14% of the respondents felt that it was somewhat or very likely that the suspect was guilty of the crime described; 9% for Q1 and 18% for Q2. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Very likely that he is guilty Somewhat likely that he is guilty Somewhat unlikely that he is gulity Very unlikely that he is guilty Unable to form an opinion Other RefusalQ1 From the information provided, what is your opinion of the suspect? 0 10 20 30 40 50 Very likely that he is guilty Somewhat likely that he is guilty Somewhat unlikely that he is gulity Very unlikely that he is guilty Unable to form an opinion Other RefusalQ2 From the information provided in the post, what is your opinion of the suspect? Table 15

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36 From the information provided, what is your opinion of the suspect? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Very likely that he is guilty 5 14 Somewhat likely that he is guilty 14 46 Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty 8 14 Very unlikely that he is guilty 1 9 Unable to form an option 71 38 Other 2 3 Refusal 0 6 Total 101 130

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37 23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? Only 3% of respondents overall would add their own comment to the Facebook post if it appeared in their newsfeed; 3% for both Q1 and Q2. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Yes 3 4 No 98 124 Refusal 0 2 Total 101 130 Q2 If this post was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own 'comment' to the post? Yes No Refusal Q1 If this post was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own 'comment' to the post? Yes No Refusal Table 16

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38 24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below. Shown in Table 15 are the responses provided by the respondents who said in question 23 that they would add their own comment to the post. Although a total of seven respondents indicated that they would add their own comment, only five respondents wrote in their comment. Table 17 Its so sad to see young people in todays generation ruining their lives over stupid petty stuff. By prompted you mean some random person up at some ungodly hour was looking to start some shit. Where are the evidence to pro ve that it was Mario? How did Barrow die from Johnson throwing a trash can? We need more evidence. Cant discriminate. Do you have any information that gives this source credibility? 2 Two respondents replied yes to question 23 but did not write in a response for question 24

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39 Q1 25. Would you reply to any of the comments made by other Facebook users in res ponse to the article? (Q1 Only) Would you reply to any of the comments made by other Facebook users in response to the article? Q1 n=101 Yes 1 No 100 Refusal 0 Total 101 Would you reply to any of the comments made by other Facebook users in response to the article? Yes No Table 18

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40 Q1 26. If you would reply to a comment made by another Facebook user, please indicate which comment(s) (1 6) you would reply to and what your reply would say in the space below. Table 19 Dont judge a book by its cover. In some cases its guilty until proven innocent. ( Respondent did not indicate which comment they would reply to. )

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41 Q1 27/ Q2 25. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Yes 28 71 No 73 56 Refusal 0 3 Total 101 130 Q1 Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station to read more about this story? Yes No Q2 Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station to read more about the story? Yes No Refused Table 20

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42 Q1 28/ Q2 26. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Yes 13 12 No 85 112 Other 2 4 Refusal 1 2 Total 101 130 Q1 Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Yes No Other Refusal Q2 Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Yes No Other Refusal Table 21

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43 Q1 29/ Q2 27. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? Seventy two percent of Q1 respondents report that they would be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of theirs alread y had made a comment while only 22% of Q2 respondents reported that they would. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Yes 17 25 No 80 101 Other 2 2 Refusal 2 2 Total 101 130 Q2 Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of your had already commented? Yes No Other Refusal Q1 Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already commented? Yes No Other Refusal Table 22

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44 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION Years of research have shown that the media plays a role in the general publics perception of crime. The cultivation hypothesis is the most commonly referenced explanation for the influence of media on public opinions of crime, however it has not been studied in the context of Facebook (Gerbner and Gross, 1976; Potter, W. James, 1986; OKeefe, Garrett J. and Kathaleen Reid Nash, 1987; Ogloff, James R.P. and Neil Vidmar, 1994; Brewer Paul R. and Barbara L. Ley, 2009; Kort Bulter, Lisa A. and Kelley J. Sittner Hartshorn, 2011). The purpose of this research was to explore whether or not social media contributes to public opinions of crime and criminals Understanding the relationship, if one is shown to exist is important for future criminal justice policy creation, addressing public safety concerns, and because pretrial publicity has been shown to effect the outcomes of jury trials. The research question is broad and will take more than a preliminary questionnaire to gain a full understanding of the relationship, however it is likely that one exists. Gerbner et al. (1980) suggest in their cultivation hypothesis that the more time a person spends watching television, the more likely the y are to perceive society in the manner in which it is presented on television. This idea can be similarly applied to social media in that the more time a person spends on Facebook, or the more exposure they have to news stories via Facebook, the more like ly they are to perceive the world around them as it is portrayed to them through Facebook. A report published this year by the Pew Research Center found that 62% percent of adults in the U.S. get the majority of their news from social media, up from 49% only four years ago (Gottfried and Shearer, 2016). The Pew study also determined that based on the number of total U.S. Facebook users and the number of Facebook users who report getting their news from the site, 44% of the general population is getting thei r news from Facebook.

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45 Eighty nine percent of the respondents in both questionnaires (Q1 and Q2) used for this study indicated that they have an active Facebook account. The percentage of active users in this study is much higher than reported in the Pew st udy however it is unknown how Pew operationalized this question. While over half of the respondents in this study report that they do not like local news stations Facebook pages, 35% of them report that they get the majority of their news from social me dia websites; 38% for Q1 and 32% for Q2. Eighteen percent of the respondents report Facebook specifically as the social media site they get the majority of their news from; 19% for Q1 and 17% for Q2. While these percentages are much lower than those report ed by Pew, more respondents in this study report Facebook as their news source than television; only 16% of respondents report local television news a s their main source for news; 17% for Q1 and 15% for Q2. Through this study and the nationally representat ive study conducted by Pew, it can be asserted that a large majority of the U.S. population are getting their news from Facebook. Consequently, the news shared on Facebook is reaching an audience perhaps larger than television news reaches and should be ex amined as such. Pretrial publicity has been a bane of courtrooms for nearly a century. It has been found to introduce proprosecution biases to jurors which destroys a criminal defendants Constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury (Moran and Cutl er, 1991; Ogloff and Vidmar 1994; Bruschke and Loges, 1999; Hope, Memon, and McGeorge, 2004; and Ruva and LeVasseur, 2012). Facebook, as a major source of news for nearly half of the population, has the potential to create exponentially more pretrial publicity than its media counterparts (print news, television news). Rather than watching a thirty minute local news broadcast once per day, Facebook has become an immediately accessible constant stream of under fact checked

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46 news. Facebook users are logging ont o their accounts several times per day and spending at least an hour per day taking in Facebook stories, including those posted about crime and criminals. Sixty eight percent of the questionnaire respondents report logging onto their Facebook account at le ast once per day; 64% for Q1 and 71% for Q2. Eighty eight percent of the respondents report that they read the news stories that appear in their Facebook newsfeeds at least sometimes; 87% for Q1 and 88% for Q2. By understanding that the cultivation hypothe sis tells us television news audiences are influenced by what they are presented with, and take it in as fact, we can opine that Facebook news stories are influencing users similarly. This influence then, has the potential to create pretrial publicity when news stations post stories about crime and criminals. Two questionnaires were created for this study in order to provide a comparison for analysis. Each questionnaire included the same real Facebook news post regarding a suspected murderer. The post inc luded a photograph of the suspect and a twosentence headline about the crime. One questionnaire offered comments by real Facebook users and the second questionnaire did not include the comments. The addition of comments to one of the questionnaires was in tended to illicit responses to the provided Facebook post from the respondents on the first questionnaire, but that did not happen. Q1 respondents indicated that they would not reply to any of the user comments provided. Almost no respondents indicated tha t they would add their own comments to the post, either from Q1 or Q2. However, a scan of any news networks Facebook posts regarding crime and/or criminals will show dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of comments by Facebook users expressing their opinions of the photograph or the linked news story. People are commenting on news stations crime related Facebook posts, and replying to other commenters, but this sample does not reflect that.

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47 While the intention was to analyze which comments respondents would r eply to and how they would respond, no data was provided to conduct that analysis. Another variable intended to be measured by the Facebook news post provided on the questionnaires, was the presumption of innocence of the pictured suspect. In a jury trial the presumption of innocence is a right afforded to the defendant. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution who must, through evidence and witness testimony, prove to the jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the main problem with pretrial publicity. Especially in highprofile cases, so much news is broadcast about the suspect and the case that before a trial even begins, potential jurors have their minds made up as to the likelihood of guilt of the suspect. Recovering from pretrial publicity bias is not only an incredibly difficult task for the defense, but an unfair and unjust task according to the Constitution. The respondents in Q2 were much more likely to believe that the man pictured in the Facebook post was guilty of the crime described in the Facebook post than the Q1 respondents. Forty six percent of the Q2 respondents indicated that they felt the man was somewhat likely or very likely to be guilty of the crime as described whereas 19% of Q1 respondents felt the same Seventy percent of the Q1 respondents and indicated that there was not information provided for them to draw any conclusions about the featured mans guilt or innocence, the ideal response for criminal trials; only 29% of the Q2 respondents agreed. T hese findings that neither questionnaires respondents indicated they would reply to comments or add their own to the post and the differences in the presumption of innocence between the questionnaires presents a contradiction. The lack of original comments or interaction with the provided comments by the respondents could have been explained by social desirability bias. Although the respondents

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48 were informed that the data collected from the questionnaires was confidential and no identifying information was provided on the questionnaires, they could have declined to respond to the comments in order to protect their own opinions in the case that they were less socially acceptable. However, the addition of the high rate at which Q2 respondents admitted to believing the pictured suspect was at least somewhat likely to be guilty of the crime described leaves me unconvinced that the respondents thought much about social acceptance. It is curious that the Q2 respondents who did not see the comments section of the news post were more likely to believe that the pictured suspect was somewha t likely or very likely to be guilty of the crime than the Q1 respondents, who did see the comments section. It could be argued that t he cultivation h ypothesis would suggest that by seeing the comments, the Q1 respondents should be more likely to align wit h the opinions expressed in them. However, one news post on Facebook and the comments associated with it sh ould not be considered persistent representations of life and society (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, and Sig norelli, 1980: 14). Further research to gauge how much exposure to Facebook is required to create or alter opinions of its users would be necessary to examine the cultivation hypothesis through this lens. Without knowing what types of news all of the respondents see on their personal Facebook pages, it is difficult to suggest with confidence that Facebook influences their opinions on crime and criminals. Much deeper research would be required to understand if a relationship exists. More specifically, the cultivation hypothesis, which came about befor e Facebook or any social media as we know it had been created, must be reexamined in the context of social media. Further research should include a content analysis of Facebook comments relating to crime and criminal associated news posts. A thorough c ontent analysis

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49 would include coding for user opinions expressing 1) guilt 2) innocence or the idea that someone is innocent until proven guilty 3) punishment related comments and 4) comments relating to the victim rather than the suspect. A th orough conte nt analysis, employing inductive category development, will allow for themes to emerge on their own (Hseih and Shannon, 2005:179). Facebook is a complicated platform because of algorithmic methods which show users varying posts, both by individuals and organizations or companies, including news stations, at higher frequencies than other posts based on the users past habits and browsing histories. Understanding the algorithms Facebook uses in the context of pretrial publicity exposure would be nearly impossible without willing participants who would grant a researcher access to their Facebook page. A case study which follows one specific criminal case may also be beneficial. As an un der studied phenomena, there are many potential studies that will emerge.

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50 REFERENCES Aaronson, David and Sydney Patterson. 2013. Modernizing Jury Instructions in the Age of Social Media. Criminal Justice 27(4):611. Blais, Julie and Adelle E. Forth. 2014. Potential Labelling Effects: Influence of Psychopathy Diagnosis, Defendant Age, and Defendant Gender on Mock Jurors Decisions. Psychology, Crime, and Law. 20(2):116134. Blumstein, Alfred and Jacqueline Cohen. 1980. Sentencing of Convicted Offenders: An Analysis of the Publics View. Law and Society Review 14(2):223261. Bolt, Zsolt and Gabriella Szabo. 2011. The Media and Attitudes Towards Crime and the Justice System: A Qualitative Approach. European Journal of Criminology. 8(4):329342. Borgida, Eugene, Kenneth G. DeBono, and Lee A. Buckma n. 1990. Cameras in the Courtroom: The Effects of Media Coverage on Wtiness Testimony and Juror Perceptions. Law and Human Behavior. 14(5):489509. Brewer, Paul R. and Barbara L. Ley. 2009. Media Use and Public Perceptions of DNA Evidence. Scien ce Communication. 32(1):93117. Britto, Sarah and Dean A. Dabney. 2010. Fair and Balanced? Jus tice Issues on Political Talk Shows. American Journal of Criminal Justice. 35(4):198218. Brown, Kristin. 2012. Somebody Poisoned the Jury Pool: Social M edias Effect on Jury Impartiality. Texas Wesleyan Law Review 19(3):809825. Browning, John. 2014. #Snitches Get Stitches: Witness Intimidation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter. Pace Law Review 35(1):192214. Bruschke, Jon and William E. Loges 1999. Relationship Between Pretrial Publicity and Trial Outcomes. Journal of Communication. 49(4):104120. Chiricos, Ted, Sarah Eschholz, and Marc Gertz. 1997. Crime, News and Fear of Crime: Towards an Identification of Audience Effects. Social Problems 44(3):342357. Dixon, Travis L. and Daniel Linz. 2010. Television News, Prejudicia l Pretrial Publicity, and the Depiction of Race. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. 46(1):112136. Elsass, H. Jaymi, Jaclyn Schildkraut, and Mark C. Stafford. 2014. Breaking News of Social Problems: Examining Media Consumption and Student Belie fs about School Shootings. Criminology, Criminal Justice Law & Society 15(2):3142.

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51 Facebook Newsroom. 2016. Company Info." Retrieved November 2, 2016. ( http://newsroom.fb.com/company info/ ). Gangadharbatla, Harsha, Laura F. Bright, and Kelty Logan. 2014. Social Media and News Gathering: Tapping into the Millenial Mindset. The Journal of Social Media in Society. 3(1):4563. Gensler, Steven. 2012. Social Media Discovery. Arkansas Law Review. 65:739. Gerbner, George and Larry Gross. 1976. Living with Television: The Violence Profile. Journal of Communication. 26(2):172194. Gerbner, George, Larry Gross, Michael Morgan, and Nancy Signorelli. 1980. The Mainstreaming of America: Violence Profile No. 11. Journal of Communication. 30(3):1029. Gottfried, Jeffrey and Elisa Shearer. 2016. News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016. Pew Research Center, Washing ton, D.C. 26 May 2016. http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news use across social mediaplatforms 2016/ Accessed 8 November 2016. Greer, Chris. 2007. How Trial by Media is Redefining Justice. The Guardian. 12 September 2007. http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/sep/13/ pressandpublishing .crime Greer, Chris and Eugene McLaughlin. 2010. Trial by Media: Policing, the 247 News Mediasphere and the Politics of Outrage. Theoretical Criminology 15(1):2346. Grow, Brian. 2010. As Jurors Go Online, U.S. Trials Go Off Track. Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/12/08/us internet jurors idUSTRE6B74Z820101208 Healy, Kieran. Forthcoming. Public Sociology in the Age of Social Media. Perspectives on Politics. Hermida, Alfred, Fred Fletcher, Darryl Korell, and Donna Logan. 2012. Share, Like, Recommend. Journalism Studies 13(5):815824. Hope, Lorraine, Amina Memon, and Peter McGeorge. 2004. Understanding Pretrial Publicity: Predecisional Disto rtion of Evidence by Mock Jurors. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 10(2):111119. Hseih, H. F. and S. E. Shannon. 2005. Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis. Qualitative Health Research 15(9):12771288.

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52 Kiernan, Michael K. and Samuel E. Cooley. 2012. Juror Misconduct in the Age of Social Networking. FDCC Quarterly 62(2):179193. Kohm, Steven A. 2009. Naming, Shaming, and Criminal Justice: Massmediated Humiliation as Entertainment and Punishment. Crime Media Culture 5:188205. Kort Bulter, Lisa A. and Kelley J. Sittner Hartshorn. 2011. Watching the Detectives: Crime Programming, Fear of Crime, and Attitudes about the Criminal Justice System. The Sociological Quarterly 52(1):3655. Lancaster, Kari, Caitlin E Hughes, Bridget Spicer, Francis Matt hew Simmons, and Paul Dillon. 2011. Illicit Drugs and the Media: Models of Media E ffects for use in Drug Policy Research. Drug and Alcohol Review 20(4):397402. Lazaroiu, George. 2014 The Social Construction of Participatory Media Technologies. Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 6(1):104109. Maratea, Ray. 2008. The E rise and Fall of Social Problems: The Blogosphere as a Public Arena. Social Problems 55(1):139160. Miles, K. 2011. Fa cebook Comments on Crime Despicable. Advertiser: The Adelaide. 24. Moran, Gary and Brian L. Cutler. 1991. The Prejudicial Impact of Pretrial Publicity. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 21(5):345367. Nuss Jeannie. 2001. Death Row Inmate Gets New Trial After Juror Tweet. USA Today http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/20111208/juror tweet death ro w/51741370/1. Oeldorf Hirsch, Anne and S. Shyam Sundar. 2015. Posting, Com menting, and Tagging: Effects of Sharing News on Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior 44:240249. Ogloff, James R.P. and Neil Vidmar. 1994. The Impact of Pretrial Publicity on Jurors: A Study to Compare the Relative Effects of Television and Print Media in a Child Sex Abuse Case. Law and Human Behavior. 18(5):507525. OKeefe, Garrett J. and Kathaleen Reid Nash. 1987. Crime News and Real World Blues: The Effect of Media on Social Reality. Communication Research. 14:147163. Orcutt, James D. and J. Blake Turner. 1993. Shocking Numbers and Graphic Accounts: Quantified Images of Drug Problems in the Print Media. Social Problems 40:190206. Phillips, D erek L. and Kevin J. Clancy. 1972. Some Effects of Social Desirability in Survey Studies. American Journal of Sociology 77(5):921940.

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53 Potter, W. James. 1986. Perceived Reality and the Cultivation Hypothesis. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 30(2):159174. Prichard, Jeremy, Paul Watters, Tony Krone, Caroline Spiranovic, and Helen Cockburn. 2015. Social Media Sentiment Analysis: A New Empirical Tool for Assessing Public Opinions on Crime? Current Issues in Criminal Just ice. 27(2):217236. Ratcliffe, Jerry H. Damned if you Dont, Damned if you Do: Crime Mapping and Its Implications in the Real World. Policing and Society 12(3):211225. Rosenberger, Jared S. and Valerie J. Callanan. 2011. The Influence of Media on Penal Attitudes. Criminal Justice Review 36(4): 435455. Rossi, Peter and Steven S. Nock. 1984. Measuring Social Judgments: The Factorial Survey Approach Review. Social Forces. 63(2):598599. Ruva, Christine L., Christina C. Guenther, and Angela Ya rbrough. 2011. Positive and Negative Pretrial Publicity: The Roles of Impression Formulatio n, Emotion, and Predecisional Distortion. Criminal Justice and Behavior 38(5):511534. Ruva, Christine L., and Michelle LaVasseur. 2011. Behind Closed Doors: the Effect of Pretrial Publicity on Jury Deliberations. Psychology, Crime, and Law. 18(5):431452. Sacco, Vincent F. 1995. Media Constructions of Crime. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 539:141154. Schifferes, Steve, Nic Newman, Neil Thurman, David Corney, Ayse Goker, and Carlos Martin. 2014. Identifying and Verifying News Through S ocial Media: Developing a User Centered Tool for Professional Journalists. Digital Journalism. 2(3):406418. Smith, Aaron. 2014. Six New Facts About Facebook. Pew Research Center 3 February 2014. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact tank/2014/02/03/6new facts about facebook/ St. Eve, Hon. Amy J. and Michael Zuckerman. 2012. Ensuring an Impartial Jury in the Age of Social Media. Duke Law and Technology Review 11:129. St. Eve, Hon. Amy J., Hon. Charles P. Burns, and Michael A. Zuckerman. 2014. More from the #Jury Box: The Latest on Juries and Social Media. Duke Law and Technology Review 12:6491. Stabley, Nancy Mehrkens, Jasmina Besirevic, Solomon M. Fuler o, and Belia Jimenez Lorente. 1999. The Effects of Pretrial Publicity on Juror Verdi cts: A Meta Analytic Review. Law and Human Behavior. 23(2):219235.

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54 Stroud, Natalie Jomini, Joshua M. Scacco, Ashley Muddiman, and Alexander L. Curry. Forthcoming. Changing Deliberative Norms on News Or ganizations Facebook Sites. J ournal of Computer Mediated Communication. Surette, Ray. 1989, Media Trials. Journal of Criminal Justice 17(4) :293308. Tyler, Tom R. and Fay Lomax Cook. 1984. The Mass Media and Judgments of Risk: Distinguishing Impact on Personal and Societal Level Judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47(4):693708. University of Colorado Denver. Qui ck Facts ." Retrieved November 2, 2016. ( http://www.ucdenver.edu/about us/facts/Pages/default.aspx ). Wallander Lisa. 2009. 25 Years of Factorial Surveys in Sociology: A Review. Social Science Research. 38:505520. Ward, Kaitlyn Aubra. 2014. The Repercussions of Inaccurately Portraying Forensic Science in Television Show. LBA 438. December 12, 2014. Whi te, Mark D. 2010. Does Facebook Threaten Trial by Jury?. Psychology Today 29 May 2010. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/maybe its just me/201005/does facebook threaten trialjury

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55 APPENDIX A. SURVEYS AND VOLUNTARY CONSENT Questionnaire 1: An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media You are invited to participate in a survey designed to understand social media involvement and the effects which social media has on public opinion formation. Your respons es will be analyzed as part of a Masters Thesis Your participation is voluntary and failing to provide some or all of the information requested will not adversely affect you in any way. There are 29 questions on the survey. Even if you agree to participa te at first, you may discontinue your participation at any time Your responses will be used confidentially. Please do not write your name on the survey. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact Jacqueline.Silbermann@UCDenver.edu or Candan.Duran Aydintug@UCDenver.edu 1. Sex/Gender Identity: Male Female Other (please specify) ______________________ 2. Race/Ethnicity: White or Caucasian Hispanic or Latino/a Black or African American Native American or American Indian Asian/Pacific Islander Other (please specify) ______________________ 3. Age : ______________________ 4. Marital Status: Single, never married Married or domestic partnership Widowed Divorced/Separated 5. Employment Status: Employed (full time or part time) Self employed Unemployed 6. College Enrollment Status: Fulltime student (12+credits/semester) Part time student (11 credits or less/semester) 7. Political Party Affiliation:

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56 D emocrat Republican Libertarian Green Constitution Unaffiliated Other (please specify) ______________________ 8. Do you have an active Facebook account? Yes (continue to question 9) No (skip to question 20 ) 9. How do you access Facebook most often ? Choose the option that best applies. Desktop or laptop computer Tablet Cell phone Other (please specify) ______________________ 10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? 0 99 100 199 200 299 300 399 400 499 500 or more 11. How often do you log into/check Facebook ? Choose the option that best applies. Rarely or never Less than once per week One to six times per week Once per day Several times per day, less than hourly Once per hour Several times per hour 12. Approximately how much time do you spen d on Facebook on a typical day ? Less than one hour 1 2 hours 3 4 hours 5 6 hours 7 8 hours More than 8 hours

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57 13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you. ____ S eeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network ____ Keeping up to date with news and current events ____ Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.) ____ Seeing entertaining/funny posts ____ Connecting or reconnecting with family and fri ends 14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? More than once per day Daily Weekly Monthly Rarely or Never Other (please specify) ________________________ 15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? Public Private Other (please specify) ______________________ 16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? Always Sometimes Never Other (please specify) ______________________ 17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely Other (please specify) ______________________ 18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post?

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58 19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply. Channel 2 News (KWGN) CBS4 Denver (KCNC) Denver 7 News (KMGH) 9News (KUSA) Fox 31 (KDVR) Other (please specify) ______________________ I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook. 20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one) Print Newspaper, local Print Newspaper, national Facebook Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.) Television, loca l programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc. ) Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) Other ______________ ________ I do no t follow local or national news. 21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper? Much less reliable Slightly less reliable Equally as reliable Slightly more reliable Much more reliable Please consider the following Facebook post and comments when answering questions 2229.

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59 1 2 3 4 5 6

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60 22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described. Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described. Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. Very unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided. Other (please specify) _____________________________________________________________ 23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? Yes (proceed to question 24) No (skip to question 25) 24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below. 25. Would you reply to any of the comments made by the other Facebook users in response to the article? Yes (proceed to question 26) No (skip to qu estion 27) 26. If you would reply to a comment made by another Facebook user, please indicate which comment (s) (1 6) you would reply to AND what your reply would say in the space below. 27. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? Yes No 28. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Yes No Other (please specify) ______________________ 29. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? Yes No Other (please specify) ______________________ Thank you for your participation.

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61 Questionnaire 2: An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media You are invited to participate in a survey designed to understand social media involvement and the effects which social media has on public opinion formation. Your responses will be analyzed as part of a Masters Thesis. Your participation is voluntary and failing to provide some or all of the information r equested will not adversely affect you in any way. There are 27 questions on the survey. Even if you agree to participate at first, you may discontinue your participation at any time. Your responses will be used confidentially. Please do not write your nam e on the survey. If you have questions or concerns, you may contact Jacqueline.Silbermann@UCDenver.edu or Candan.Duran Aydintug@UCDenver.edu 1. Sex/Gender Identity: Male Female Other (please specify) ______________________ 2. Race/Ethnicity: White or Caucasian Hispanic or Latino/a Black or African American Native American or American Indian Asian/Pacific Islander Other (please specify) ______________________ 3. Age: ______________________ 4. Marital Status: Single, never married Married or domestic partnership Widowed Divorced/Separated 5. Employment Status: Employed (full time or part time) Self employed Unemployed 6. College Enrollment Statu s: Fulltime student (12+credits/semester) Part time student (11 credits or less/semester) 7. Political Party Affiliation: Democrat Republican Libertarian Green Constitution

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62 Unaffiliated Other (please specify) ______________________ 8. Do you have an active Facebook account? Yes (continue to question 9) No (skip to question 20) 9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies. Desktop or laptop computer Tablet Cell phone Other (please specify) ______________________ 10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? 0 99 100 199 200 299 300 399 400 499 500 or more 11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies. Rarely or never Less than once per week One to six times per week Once per day Several times per day, less than hourly Once per hour Several times per hour 12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? Less than one hour 1 2 hours 3 4 hours 5 6 hours 7 8 hours More than 8 hours 13. Rank t he following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you. ____ Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network ____ Keeping up to date with news and current event s ____ Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.) ____ Seeing entertaining/funny posts ____ Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends

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63 14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? More than once per day Daily Weekly Monthly Rarely or Never Other (please specify) ________________________ 15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? Public Private Other (please specify) ______________________ 16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? Always Sometimes Never Other (please specify) ______________________ 17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? Very likely Somewhat lik ely Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely Other (please specify) ______________________ 18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post? 19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply. Channel 2 News (KWGN) CBS4 Denver (KCNC) Denver 7 News (KMGH) 9News (KUSA) Fox 31 (KDVR) Other (please specify) ______________________ I do no t like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook.

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64 20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one) Print Newspaper, local Print Newspaper, national Facebook Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.) Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.) Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) Other ______________________ I do not follow local or national news. 21. Is news posted on Facebook more o r less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper? Much less reliable Slightly less reliable Equally as reliable Slightly more reliable Much more reliable Please consider the following Facebook post when answerin g questions 22 27. 22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described. Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described. Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. Very unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided. Other (please specify) __ ______________________________________________________

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65 23. If this artic le was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? Yes (proceed to question 24) No (skip to question 25) 24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below. 25. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? Yes No 26. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? Yes No Other (please specify) ______________________ 27. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? Yes No Other (please specify) ______________________ Thank you for your participation.

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66 B. CODEBOOKS Questionnaire 1 Codebook: An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media: Code Book 1. Sex/Gender Identity: (SEX) Male (1) Female (0) Other (please specify) ______________________ (2) 2. Race/Ethnicity: (RACE) White or Caucasian (0) Hispanic or Latino/a (1) Black or African American (2) Native American or American Indian (3) Asian/Pacific Islander (4) Other (please specify) ______________________ (5) ADDITION FOR DATA ANALYSIS (6) Middle Eastern 3. Age: ______________________ (AGE) 4. Marital Status: (MARITAL) Single, never married (0) Married or domestic partnership (1) Widowed (2) Divorced/Separated (3) 5. Employment Status: (WORK) Employed (full time or part time) (1) Self employed (2) Unemployed (0) 6. College Enrollment Status: (SCHOOL) Fulltime student (12+cr edits/semester) (1) Part time student (11 credits or less/semester) (0) 7. Political Party Affiliation: (POLITICS) Democrat (0) Republican (1) Libertarian (2) Green (3) Constitution (4) Unaffiliated (5) Other (please specify) ______________________ (6)

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67 8. Do you have an active Facebook account? (FACEBOOK) Yes (continue to question 9) (1) No (skip to question 20) (0) 9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies. (ACCESS) Desktop or laptop computer (0) Tablet (1) Cell phone (2) 1 Other (please specify) ______________________ (3) 10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? (FRIENDS) 0 99 (0) 100 199 (1) 200 299 (2) 300 399 (3) 400 499 (4) 500 or more (5) 11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies. (LOGIN) Rarely or never (0) Less than once per week (1) One to six times per week (2) Once per day (3) Several times per day, less than hourly (4) Once per hour (5) Several times per hour (6) 12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Faceb ook on a typical day? (HOURS) Less than one hour (0) 1 2 hours (1) 3 4 hours (2) 5 6 hours (3) 7 8 hours (4) More than 8 hours (5) 13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 being most important to you and 5 being least important to you. (REASON) ____ Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network ____ Keeping up to date with news and current events ____ Sharing with many people at once (photos, videos, status updates, etc.) ____ Seeing ent ertaining/funny posts ____ Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends

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68 14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? (POSTF) More than once per day (0) Daily (1) Weekly (2) Monthly (3) Rarely or Never (4) Other (please specify) ________________________ (5) 15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? (PRIVACY) Public (0) Private (1) Other (please specify) ______________________ (2) 16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on yo ur Facebook page? (READNEWS) Always (0) Sometimes (1) Never (2) Other (please specify) ______________________ (3) 17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? (SHARE) Very likely (0) Somewhat likely (1) Somewhat unlikely (2) Very unlikely (3) Other (please specify) ______________________ (4) 18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post? 19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply. (STATION) Channel 2 News (KWGN) (0) CBS4 Denver (KCNC) (1) Denver 7 News (KMGH) (2) 9News (KUSA) (3) Fox 31 (KDVR) (4) Other (please specify) ______________________ (5) I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook. (6)

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69 20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one) (SOURCEN) Print Newspaper, local (0) Print Newspaper, national (1) Facebook (2) Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.) (3) Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.) (4) Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) (5) Other ______________________ (6) I do not follow local or national news. (7) 21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper? (RELIABLE) Much less reliable (0) Slightly less reliable (1) Equally as reliable (2) Slightly more reliable (3) Much more reliable (4) 22. From the information prov ided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? (OPINION) Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (0) Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (1) Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (2) Very unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (3) Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided. (4) Other (please specify) _____________________________________________________________ (5) 23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? (COMMENT) Yes (proceed to question 24) (1) No (skip to question 25) (0) 24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below. 25. Would you reply to any of the comments made by the other Facebook users in response to the article? (REPLYC) Yes (proceed to question 26) (1) No (skip to question 27) (0) 26. If you would reply to a comment made by another Facebook user, please indicate which comment(s) (1 6) you wo uld reply to AND what your reply would say in the space below.

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70 27. Would you click on a link, if one was provided by the news station, to read more about the story? (CLICK) Yes (1) No (0) 28. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? (POSTC) Yes (1) No (0) Other (please specify) ______________________ (2) 29. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? (POSTF) Yes (1) No (0) Other (please specify) ______________________ (3)

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71 Questionnaire 2 Codebook: An Investigation of Public Responses to Crime through Social Media: Code Book 1. Sex/Gender Identity: (SEX_1) Male (1) Female (0) Other (please specify) ______________________ (2) 2. Race/Ethnicity: (RACE_1) White or Caucasian (0) Hispanic or Latino/a (1) Black or African American (2) Native American or American Indian (3) Asian/Pacific Islander (4) Other (please specify) ______________________ (5) 3. Age: ______________________ (AGE_1) 4. Marital Status: (MARITAL_1) Single, never married (0) Married or domestic partnership (1) Widowed (2) Divorced/Separated (3) 5. Employment Status: (WORK_1) Employed (full time or part time) (1) Self employed (2) Unemployed (0) 6. College Enrollment Status: ( SCHOOL_1) Fulltime student (12+credits/semester) (1) Part time student (11 credits or less/semester) (0) 7. Political Party Affiliation: (POLITICS_1) Democrat (0) Republican (1) Libertarian (2) Green (3) Constitution (4) Unaffiliated (5) Other (please specify) ______________________ (6) 8. Do you have an active Facebook account? (FACEBOOK_1) Yes (continue to question 9) (1) No (skip to question 20) (0)

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72 9. How do you access Facebook most often? Choose the option that best applies. (ACCESS_1) Desktop or laptop computer (0) Tablet (1) Cell phone (2) Other (please specify) ______________________ (3) 10. Approximately how many Facebook friends do you have? (FRIENDS_1) 0 99 (0) 100 199 (1) 200 299 (2) 300 399 (3) 400 499 (4) 500 or more (5) 11. How often do you log into/check Facebook? Choose the option that best applies. (LOGIN_1) Rarely or never (0) Less than once per week (1) One to six times per week (2) Once per day (3) Several times per day, less than hourly (4) Once per hour (5) Several times per hour (6) 12. Approximately how much time do you spend on Facebook on a typical day? (HOURS_1) Less than one hour (0) 1 2 hours (1) 3 4 hours (2) 5 6 hours (3) 7 8 hours (4) More than 8 hours (5) 13. Rank the following reasons for using Facebook from 1 to 5, with 1 be ing most important to you and 5 being least important to you. (REASON_1) ____ Seeing updates and comments from your Facebook friends/network ____ Keeping up to date with news and current events ____ Sharing with many people at once (photo s, videos, status updates, etc.) ____ Seeing entertaining/funny posts ____ Connecting or reconnecting with family and friends

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73 14. How often do you post status updates on your Facebook page? (POSTF_1) More than once per day (0) Daily (1) Weekly (2) Monthly (3) Rarely or Never (4) Other (please specify) ________________________ (5) 15. Are your Facebook posts public or private? (PRIVACY_1) Public (0) Private (1) Other (please specify) ______________________ (2) 16. How often do you read posts by news stations (original or shared posts) that appear on your Facebook page? (READNEWS_1) Always (0) Sometimes (1) Never (2) Other (please specify) ______________________ (3) 17. How likely are you to share a news story on your Facebook page, given that it interests you? (SHARE_1) Very likely (0) Somewhat likely (1) Somewhat unlikely (2) Very unlikely (3) Other (please specify) ______________________ (4) 18. Please explain the decidi ng factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post? 19. Which of the following local Denver Metro news stations do you like or follow on Facebook? Check all that apply. (STATION_1) Channel 2 News (KWGN) (0) CBS4 Denver (KCNC) (1) Denver 7 News (KMGH) (2) 9News (KUSA) (3) Fox 31 (KDVR) (4) Other (please specify) ______________________ (5) I do not like or follow any local Denver news stations on Facebook. (6)

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74 20. From which source do you get the majority of your news? (choose one) (SOURCEN_1) Print Newspaper, local (0) Print Newspaper, national (1) Facebook (2) Other social media sites/apps (Twitter, Reddit, etc.) (3) Television, local programs (Channel 2 News, CBS4 Denver, Denver 7 News, etc.) (4) Television, national or international programs (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) (5) Other ______________________ (6) I do not follow local or national news. (7) 21. Is news posted on Facebook more or less reliable than news found through traditional sources such as television or newspaper? (RELIABLE_1) Much less re liable (0) Slightly less reliable (1) Equally as reliable (2) Slightly more reliable (3) Much more reliable (4) Please consider the following Facebook post and comments when answering questions 22 27. 22. From the information provided in the post above, what is your opinion of the suspect (Mario Johnson)? (OPINION_1) Very likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (0) Somewhat likely that he is guilty of the crime described. (1) Somewhat unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (2) Ve ry unlikely that he is guilty of the crime described. (3) Unable to form an opinion based on the information provided. (4) Other (please specify) _____________________________________________________________ (5) 23. If this article was in your Facebook newsfeed, would you add your own comment to the post? (COMMENT_1) Yes (proceed to question 24) (1) No (skip to question 25) (0) 24. If you would comment on the post, please write your comments in the space below. 25. Would you click on a link, if one was p rovided by the news station, to read more about the story? (CLICK_1) Yes (1) No (0)

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75 26. Would you be more likely to comment on the post after reading the linked article? (POST_C) Yes (1) No (0) Other (please specify) ______________________ (2) 27. Would you be more likely to comment on the post if a Facebook friend of yours had already made a comment? (POST_F) Yes (1) No (0) Other (please specify) ______________________ (3) Thank you for your participation.

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76 C. QUESTIONS 1 7: DEMOGRAPHIC TABLES AND CHARTS 1. Sex/Gender Identity: Sex/Gender Identity Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Female 70 82 Male 30 46 Non binary 1 1 Refusal 0 1 Total 101 130 Q1 Sex/Gender Identity Female Male Non-binary Q2 Sex/Gender Identity Female Male Non-binary Refusal

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77 2. Race/Ethnicity Race/Ethnicity Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 White or Caucasian 47 45 Hispanic or Latino/a 21 45 Black or African American 10 4 Native American or American Indian 1 2 Asian/Pacific Islander 14 20 Middle Eastern 2 3 Other 3 2 Refusal 3 9 Total 101 130 Q1 Race/Ethnicity White/Caucasian Hispanic or Latinx Black or African American Native American or American Indian Q2 Race/Ethnicity White/Caucasian Hispanic or Latinx Black or African American Native American or American Indian Asian/Pacific Islander

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78 3. Age Age Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 17 10 1 18 20 36 19 18 43 20 13 16 21 12 11 22 7 5 23 4 4 24 3 5 25 3 2 26 2 2 27 1 1 32 1 0 33 2 0 34 1 1 37 1 0 44 1 1 45 1 0 Refused/missing 1 2 Mean 23.48 years 21.23 years Total 101 130 0 5 10 15 20 25 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 32 33 34 37 44 45 n/aQ1 Age 0 10 20 30 40 50 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 34 44 n/aQ2 Age

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79 4. Marital Status Marital Status Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Single, never married 93 117 Married or Domestic Partnership 7 9 Widowed 0 0 Divorced/Separated 0 3 Refusal 1 1 Total 101 130 Q1 Marital Status Single, never married Married or Domestic Partnership Widowed Divorced/Separated Q2 Marital Status Single, never married Married or Domestic Partnership Widowed Divorced/Separated

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80 5. Employment Status Employment Status Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Employed (full time or part time) 70 85 Self employed 1 4 Unemployed 30 38 Refusal 0 2 Total 101 130 Q1 Employment Status Employed (full time or part time) Self-Employed Unemployed Q2 Employment Status Employed (full time or part time) Self-Employed Unemployed Refusal

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81 6. College Enrollment Status College Enrollment Status Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Full time student (12+ credits/semester) 76 85 Part time student (11 credits or less per semester) 24 38 Refusal 1 7 Total 101 130 Q1 College Enrollment Status Full time student Part time student refusal Q2 College Enrollment Status Full time student Part time student refusal

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82 7. Political Party Affiliation Political Party Affiliation Q1 n=101 Q2 n=130 Democrat 42 42 Republican 12 13 Libertarian 5 6 Green 0 0 Constitution 0 0 Unaffiliated 36 51 Other 4 13 Refusal 2 5 Total 101 130 Q1 Political Party Affiliation Democrat Republican Libertarian Green Constitution Unaffiliated Other Q2 Political Party Affiliation Democrat Republican Libertarian Green Constitution Unaffiliated Other

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83 D QUESTION 18: WRITE IN RESPONSES 18. Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post. Q1 Please explain the deciding factors you consider before sharing a Facebook post: 1 how funny it is then I remember I hate most of the peop le on my Facebook 2 if it is worth reading If it is something others should also know 3 It must be very important for me to share 4 Will it offend anyone? Will this make people think differently about me? 5 Is it something a friend would think is interesting/relevant? Do I think its something people should know about? Is it something I want to come back to? 6 content, appropriateness 7 the relevance of the material 8 If the post is appropriate. If its interesting. Will it offend anyone? Is it an image I want to be know for? 9 Whether or not if I feel like it needs to be shared. Sometimes there are tons of the same article being shared, and I dont feel like I need to. 10 Since I want my fami ly and friends to know my situation because we cant often meet 11 Does it matter must be yes Why am I posting this must be important to me Do I want others to know/would I care if they knew and asked me questions 12 Is it something worth reading 13 Source, target audience 14 Must be something very interesting or funny 15 Is it appropriate for my friends on there? 16 I usually consider if I know anyone who it will amuse/interest. If I know a few Ill post it, if not I wont bother 17 Appropriateness, I dont want alcohol, drugs, cuss words 18 It is very unlikely for me to share anything. I dont really like to share anything 19 Dont share 20 I usually dont because I dont publically announce my values/beliefs. Just not somethin g I do 21 If it is something I think others would want to read about. Where the story came from. If something just affects me, or does it affect others? 22 Ive rarely ever share posts. In fact, I dont believe I have up to this point. 23 Possible r eaction. How does it make me look? Is it controversial? Accuracy/credibility 24 Whether it personally affects me, and if I think its legit. 25 Is it important? Who is involved? 26 I dont share Facebook posts 27 I think about family and what they would think or say. Its not really a place to voice your opinion like Twitter. It seems to get all its news late. 28 Interest level. Credibility of Article 29 1 If my parents saw this would they approve. 2 Do I approve. 30 Will others find this as interesting as I did? Will my friends like this post? Is it relevant to whats going on around the world? 31 If there are other people who have common interest in it 32 If I strongly agree or disagree and wont start a debate 33 Whether I want to see it later 34 How it will be taken by others if my opinion on the matter is strong enough

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84 35 If I share something on Facebook it so I can find it again easily 36 Is it funny? Does it remind me of someone? Is it inappropriate? If it is, not posting. What will people think when they see this? Did I already post this? Is it important? 37 Whos seeing it? If there is a purpose for sharing it 38 1. If it is appropriate. 2. What might be thought about me. What people would like it. 39 If its interesting news. If its true and from a good source. If I have a question I want to ask a bunch of people. If I have photos of friends that they would maybe want to see 40 The deciding factors I consider are is it important enough for me to post? And will this post waste other peoples time, will they pay attention to it? If the answer is no, I wont waste my time posting it. 41 I very infrequently post or share on Face book. Mostly used as a tool to stare off boredom. 42 I dont like to share things on Facebook 43 Informative or cool or entertaining 44 If it will offend anyone. Who will initially see my sharing and whether they will agree or disagree. If it is rea lly that important to share. 45 Does it matter to me? Will it matter to other people? How will this post reflect who I am as a person? 46 Others opinions/thoughts on me 47 Level of explicit content. Whether or not I care who sees it. Who I might ha ve to block from seeing. Relevance. Interest. Passion level for content, etc. 48 Whether or not I like it 49 What its saying. Who its saying it about and if its something that other should read because of importance 50 I dont put much but usually only post if its something important or a cool experience I had 51 Is it appropriate for the high school students I work with at church? 52. I think about whether it would be of interest to anyone I know as well as if it could be considered offensive. 53 If the message is meaningful in some sort of way. Something that will make people think about 54 1. Interesting 2. Relevant to me 3. Un biased. 4. Non offensive 5. Righteous 55 Do I think the news source is reliable/unbiased? Will it cause people to get offended/comment on the post (if so then no). Should other people know about it? 56 Is it relevant to me? 57 I never post or shar e anything on Facebook. I only have it for updates on family out of town. 58. I have a various pool of friends and I dont want to bore them with my posts unless Im passionate about it 59 I usually share posts that have to do with inequalities that oc cur, or certain social justice events that occur especially within the Native American Community in order to spread the words. 60 What I like 61 Is the news story relevant to others? Or will the material offend anyone or will it attract internet trolls? 62 Content. Importance or relevance 63 Is it going to reflect me in a positive way? 64 I am really only of Facebook for entertainment/to see what my friends are doing. If I do post on Facebook its a picture. I dont think I care enough to sh are what I had for lunch or something stupid people normally post. 65 Is it important, its effects, will it impact me later, do I really want people to see/read it? 66 Funny as opposed to not funny

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85 67 Is this something that I think can benefit other s? Is this a post/picture I want people to see? Would others care about this post? 68 Interesting Funny Family appropriate 69 Before I share/post anything I ask myself if it is something that I want other people to see 70 Do I think its a leg it post or is it something totally irrational? If I think its interesting/important 71 I have never posted anything on Facebook ever. 72 I never post anything, I used to a lot and that was because everyone was doing it. If I were to post something now it would ned to be very meaningful to me and something that I really felt like people should know, ex: if I got engaged 73 How much the t opic means to me 74 I make sure there is no bad language or questionable content in the post (sexual, political, cussing, etc.) before sharing. I have a lot of past employers/church friends who can see my posts, and Im very aware of the online persona I portray. 75 whether or not people would find it offensive whether or not people would find it interesting if a lot of people have already posted about the same topic I usually do not post about it 76 How funny or important it is for me. If its a big deal. 77 Current relevance. How it will be received/interpreted 78 If I dont share this will other people still learn/hear about it? almost always yes I never share Facebook posts 79 I dont share on Facebook. I only have it to connect to friends from previous states lived in. I rarely even log on. 80 the source the validity of the article If it is entertainment or more serious 81 If the post is something t ht away. If it came from a reliable source. If its current and not offensive to others. hat I can relate to and want others to notice as well 82 If it sparked my attention If its appropriate. Q2 Please explain the deciding factors you consider befo re sharing a Facebook post: 1. I dont have any deciding factors. If I think its funny/interesting or people should know, I share. 2. Whether its relevant to my interest. If its happening in my city/state. Whether the post relates to me, my significant other or friends/family. 3. Necessary or not Helpful or not Need to share or not 4. Does it relate to me personally, is it local (geographically), will it have a positive effect or entertain (Funny) a friend 5. I try not to share anything at all because I dont feel it is necessary. Usually if I do it is something funny or serious that I feel people should see. 6. How muc h I care or really think it is something that needs to be shared. 7. If its important, relevant, to me/my friends/family. My mood that day. 8. Never usually share posts only if it applies directly to myself or need to get awareness 9. If important to me or will help others but Im barely on Facebook to have ever done that

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86 10. Dont really ever share anything 11. appropriate language if it may insult someone causing a fight how informative it is if it is something I feel passionate about 12. What Im posting and who will see it and what they will think of me. 13. If I would like to show it to one of my Facebook friends then I will share it. Other than that, I rarely share posts. 14. Its usually funny or cool but I dont really consi der anything unless its offensive. If its something that may be offensive I never share it. 15. It has to be relevant and very interesting to me. I always think whether other people will enjoy it as well 16. If I want to or not. I dont care. 17. Do es anyone care? Will people know that I shared it ironically? 18. Will my chances of a future job be affected? Will my parents see it? 19. It has to be funny or something I agree on deeply 20. It is good for society, funny, or makes me angry 21. Who will see this Will I offend anyone 22. Who will see Content is appropriate 23. How important it is and how it affects me 24. I never post, only really so my family can see updates in my life and those are only photos 25. Usually I dont post thin gs 26. I dont post anything on Facebook so I wouldnt know 27. So someone can see it 28. credibility world concern awareness 29. If its funny. 30. If it would pique the interest of my friends or not. 31. If its really funny. 32. If its important to me I will share it, others might not want to see it but its my page and I post what I want. 33. If I like it I share it 34. If I think other people need to see it. 35. I dont really know why I still have Facebook. 36. Is i t worth discussing? 37. How relevant, reliable the source is 38. My friends feeling 39. I dont really share anything on Facebook. 40. Is it respectful and beautiful? 41. Is it something noteworthy like a new hair cut or some kind of family issue. If I am responding to comments on an upcoming event with my friends I mostly use Facebook for this reason. 42. Appropriate, will offend anyone or not, is it same idea as what I think. 43. I just dont. I shared one thing in like a year and it had to d o with a movie about school shootings and stopping the production of it, or something like that. 44. 1. Is it interest me? 2. Does others will like it?

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87 3. Is it meaningful? 45. If it something I find funny or important 46. Who reads and time 47. Is it appropriate? Are people going to enjoy it? Is it important? 48. If future employers see something that makes me un hireable, I wont even consider posting it. 49. Will people enjoy it Do I relate to it Is it funny/informative 50. It has to relate to me and not offend anyone I am friends with 51. Authenticity, presentation, context 52. Nothing 53. If it is humorous about God about my family cute interesting 54. Is it worth sharing? I rarely every post or share anything. 55. Th e content and how relevant to my life 56. Relevant to today/controversial issue 57. has to apply to me as a person nothing too biased that would offend anyone 58. Do I care enough? 59. If its really funny 60. If its funny, and if its appropriate 61. Will people like it 62. They are of interest to me and spread awareness 63. Word choice and content 64. If it is funny or entertaining 65. If it makes me laugh 66. If its content my friends on Facebook would like to see. 67. If cer tain friends will see the post or not. 68. My only deciding factor is if people will care about the post 69. I try not sharing posts I think will offend someone. 70. Dont share things usually 71. its funny its cute its interesting 72. What family members will see and other people (professional) 73. If its interesting to large group of my friends 74. If I deem it important enough 75. It depends how important it is and I think of the people that would see it. 76. Wo my intended audience is and who will see it 77. If it is appropriate so my family doesnt get upset 78. I dont really post on Facebook even if something interests me I just hit like and thats pretty much it 79. I dont share a Facebook post 80. Is it really that important? Do I really care? Who will care? 81. I do not decide anything. I just post. 82. I dont share. 83. Who will see it? Will anyone be offended?

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88 84. I dont 85. If it is interesting, if it is offensive. 86. Is it credible? Likely confirmatio n bias 87. If it is acceptable for the audience to see and know that them seeing it infers I agree with it 88. Interest anyone else would have in it. 89. Is it relevant 90. Do I find it interesting? Could it help those around me? Is it important? Is it funny or cute? 91. Who will appreciate the story I post? Is it offensive? Was it funny enough? 92. If I like it and think its appropriate to share. 93. Is controversial? Does it represent my opinion well? 94. Is it really that important 95. Why does anyone else care about this topic? 96. If I think it is relevant to me or anyone I know 97. peoples reactions or the way a story may be interpreted