Lev-On, A., & Steinfeld, N. (2024). The power of the visual Web: Watching online videos influences viewers' opinion about what's in the videos and also about what's not in the videos. Heliyon, e27895. doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e27895

In many civic domains we witness “video exchanges” between citizens and the establishment; for example, when citizens upload documentation of police violence, and the police uploads documentation from body cameras providing different takes of the incident. Can such videos influence public opinion? We studied if viewing visual content (of a murder reenactment) with pro-prosecution, pro-defense, and no-narration- affects viewers’ opinions. We found that not only were viewers’ opinions of innocence/guilt and police functioning were affected, but the experience carried over to change opinions about the functioning of the state attorney’s office and the courts-which were not referenced in the videos. We conclude by discussing the implications for opinion formation in the contemporary media environment


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