A model is developed for two players exerting media manipulation efforts to support each of two actors who interact controversially. Early evidence may support one actor, while the full evidence emerging later may support the other actor. Exerting effort when the full evidence exceeds (falls short off) the early evidence is rewarded (punished) with lower (higher) unit effort cost. Properties and simulations are presented to illustrate the players’ strategic challenges when altering eight model parameters, i.e., a player’s unit effort cost, stake in the interaction, proportionality parameter scaling the strength of reward or punishment, time discount parameter, early evidence, full evidence, contest intensity, and evidence ratio intensity. Realizing the logic of the model may aid understanding on how to handle the difference between early and full evidence of controversies, in which players have an ideological stake.
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