Among the most popular online platforms for commenting following a news story are Facebook, Twitter and on the news website itself. Using personality characteristics, including from the Big-Five schema (extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness) and the Dark Tetrad frame (Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism and sadism), as well as personal motivations, the extent to which personality characteristics are predictors of news commenting behavior was determined, as well as the extent to which their personal motivations mediate and directly contribute to their behaviors. Based on a bi-national survey of 1,053 individuals, results suggest that extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, and Machiavellianism all predict online commenting. Further, motivations to comment seem to fall along two dimensions: Those who wish to discuss, and those who wish to provoke, with the discussion factor playing a larger role in commenting behavior, and mediating or partially-mediating the relationship between certain personality traits and commenting.
Key words: Social media, news, personality, motivation.
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