Can the comments of a few viewers on social media affect viewers’ perceptions of audience sentiment or their own program enjoyment? If so, do the effects of comments vary based on their valence or placement during programming? We conducted a 2 (positive vs. negative tweets) x 2 (beginning vs. end of program) factorial experiment with an additional control condition (N = 196) to answer these questions. Negative comments undermined perceived bandwagon support for the program and reduced enjoyment, regardless of contextual or trait moderators. Findings suggest that the effects of social television may be attributable to systematic processing of bandwagon cues.
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