Breaking the Barrier
Interactive Election Campaign
Communication on Twitter
during the German General Election 2009
Pascal...
2
Twitter and Politics
2
Twitter and Politics
The 2009 German General Election started
with the impression of Obama’s online
campaign fresh in mi...
2
Twitter and Politics
The 2009 German General Election started
with the impression of Obama’s online
campaign fresh in mi...
Twitter Overview
3
Twitter Overview
»Micro-publishing« — publish short messages
3
Twitter Overview
»Micro-publishing« — publish short messages
Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution
3
Twitter Overview
»Micro-publishing« — publish short messages
Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution
Directed (@-)m...
Twitter Overview
»Micro-publishing« — publish short messages
Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution
Directed (@-)m...
Twitter Overview
»Micro-publishing« — publish short messages
Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution
Directed (@-)m...
Data Collection
4
Data Collection
Bootstrap: List of political twitter users
(Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians...
Data Collection
Bootstrap: List of political twitter users
(Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians...
Data Collection
Bootstrap: List of political twitter users
(Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians...
Data Collection
Bootstrap: List of political twitter users
(Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians...
Dataset
5
Dataset
Three months prior to General Election
5
Dataset
Three months prior to General Election
A sample of Germany’s politically active
twitter users — 33 048 individuals...
Dataset
Three months prior to General Election
A sample of Germany’s politically active
twitter users — 33 048 individuals...
Dataset
Three months prior to General Election
A sample of Germany’s politically active
twitter users — 33 048 individuals...
Election Day
Twitter Outage
6
Message Volume
Election Day
TV debate
Poster remixes
7
Political Message Volume
8
www.flickr.com/photos/41501796@N06/3823362599/
“We know:
War means (is) peace”
“We are strong enough
for security and
fre...
Defining Links
9
Defining Links
Followers are a questionable indicator of
influence (Cha et al: “The Million Follower Fallacy”)
9
Defining Links
Followers are a questionable indicator of
influence (Cha et al: “The Million Follower Fallacy”)
Intentional, ...
Network Structure
10
0 2000 4000 6000 8000
0.00.20.40.60.81.0
Degree Distribution
in-degree
cumulativefrequency
1 10 100 1...
The Visible Core
11
0
7500
15000
22500
30000
∑ interactive messages per user / ranked
@-Messages Retweets
12
«The Rich get Richer»
Follower gain over sample timespan
correlates with intensity of interaction
(Spearman’s Rho rs = .54, two-tailed p ≃ 0)
12...
Follower gain over sample timespan
correlates with intensity of interaction
(Spearman’s Rho rs = .54, two-tailed p ≃ 0)
Co...
Content Analysis
13
Content Analysis
Hand-coded a sample from each of the 50
most prominent users
13
Content Analysis
Hand-coded a sample from each of the 50
most prominent users
Prominence: Volume of meaningful
communicati...
Content Analysis
Hand-coded a sample from each of the 50
most prominent users
Prominence: Volume of meaningful
communicati...
Top 50 users
14
35
6
6
3
Politicians / Parties Media Media-like Blogs Personal Accounts
Top 50 users
14
35
6
6
3
Politicians / Parties Media Media-like Blogs Personal Accounts
The Pirate Party
The Green Party
J...
Content Typology
15
personal intellectual work-related automatic
Mindcasting, Lifecasting, Workcasting
Results
16
Results
Reach on twitter is very dependent on a small
group of users (new gatekeepers)
16
Results
Reach on twitter is very dependent on a small
group of users (new gatekeepers)
Preferential attachement makes entr...
Results
Reach on twitter is very dependent on a small
group of users (new gatekeepers)
Preferential attachement makes entr...
Results II
17
Results II
Dedicated “political” communities do not
play a significant role.
17
Results II
Dedicated “political” communities do not
play a significant role.
Dedicated “political” users do (mostly) not
pl...
Results II
Dedicated “political” communities do not
play a significant role.
Dedicated “political” users do (mostly) not
pl...
18
Topical Interaction
18
Topical Interaction
Politics as One Among Many Topics
19
Translated:
“I’ll be glad once the election campaigns
are over and we can all like ea...
20
Thank you
21
List of hashtags identifying political topics
cducsu spd fdp gruene grüne piraten npd linke zensursula
bundestagswahl p...
22
No Clear-Cut Style
Loadings:
Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4
life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267
mind 0.973 -0.199
work 0....
Explorative factor analysis not fruitful:
22
No Clear-Cut Style
Loadings:
Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4
life -0.902 -0.3...
Explorative factor analysis not fruitful:
22
No Clear-Cut Style
Loadings:
Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4
life -0.902 -0.3...
Explorative factor analysis not fruitful:
22
No Clear-Cut Style
Loadings:
Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4
life -0.902 -0.3...
Explorative factor analysis not fruitful:
22
No Clear-Cut Style
Loadings:
Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4
life -0.902 -0.3...
Explorative factor analysis not fruitful:
22
No Clear-Cut Style
Loadings:
Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4
life -0.902 -0.3...
Explorative factor analysis not fruitful:
(p-value 8.870000×10^-154, Chi square of 727.04 on 6 degrees of freedom)
22
No C...
Content Typology
23
0
100
200
300
400
political national politics regional politics
link to party website re-tweet directe...
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Breaking the Barrier: Interactive Election Campaign Communication on Twitter

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Presentation from the General Online Research Conference 2010 in Pforzheim, Germany.

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Breaking the Barrier: Interactive Election Campaign Communication on Twitter

  1. 1. Breaking the Barrier Interactive Election Campaign Communication on Twitter during the German General Election 2009 Pascal Jürgens U of Mainz, Germany pascal.juergens@gmail.com Andreas Jungherr U of Bamberg, Germany andreas.jungherr@gmail.com
  2. 2. 2 Twitter and Politics
  3. 3. 2 Twitter and Politics The 2009 German General Election started with the impression of Obama’s online campaign fresh in mind
  4. 4. 2 Twitter and Politics The 2009 German General Election started with the impression of Obama’s online campaign fresh in mind Due to several high-profile incidents, German media and politics focussed on Twitter at least as much as on other social networks
  5. 5. Twitter Overview 3
  6. 6. Twitter Overview »Micro-publishing« — publish short messages 3
  7. 7. Twitter Overview »Micro-publishing« — publish short messages Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution 3
  8. 8. Twitter Overview »Micro-publishing« — publish short messages Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution Directed (@-)message — explicitly sent to a recipient 3
  9. 9. Twitter Overview »Micro-publishing« — publish short messages Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution Directed (@-)message — explicitly sent to a recipient Topic tags (#) — defines the topic of the message 3
  10. 10. Twitter Overview »Micro-publishing« — publish short messages Re-Tweet — quote message including attribution Directed (@-)message — explicitly sent to a recipient Topic tags (#) — defines the topic of the message High degree of mobile usage (~15% in our dataset) 3
  11. 11. Data Collection 4
  12. 12. Data Collection Bootstrap: List of political twitter users (Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians on twitter) 4
  13. 13. Data Collection Bootstrap: List of political twitter users (Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians on twitter) Growth: perpetual search for #tags (Add new users to sample) 4
  14. 14. Data Collection Bootstrap: List of political twitter users (Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians on twitter) Growth: perpetual search for #tags (Add new users to sample) Capture: Collect all new tweets (Also crawling archives for coverage over entire time range) 4
  15. 15. Data Collection Bootstrap: List of political twitter users (Assembled from several websites compiling lists of politicians on twitter) Growth: perpetual search for #tags (Add new users to sample) Capture: Collect all new tweets (Also crawling archives for coverage over entire time range) Graphs: Nightly snapshot of friend/followers 4
  16. 16. Dataset 5
  17. 17. Dataset Three months prior to General Election 5
  18. 18. Dataset Three months prior to General Election A sample of Germany’s politically active twitter users — 33 048 individuals 5
  19. 19. Dataset Three months prior to General Election A sample of Germany’s politically active twitter users — 33 048 individuals A complete archive of their communication (public tweets) — 10 109 894 messages 5
  20. 20. Dataset Three months prior to General Election A sample of Germany’s politically active twitter users — 33 048 individuals A complete archive of their communication (public tweets) — 10 109 894 messages A temporal map of their connections 5
  21. 21. Election Day Twitter Outage 6 Message Volume
  22. 22. Election Day TV debate Poster remixes 7 Political Message Volume
  23. 23. 8 www.flickr.com/photos/41501796@N06/3823362599/ “We know: War means (is) peace” “We are strong enough for security and freedom”
  24. 24. Defining Links 9
  25. 25. Defining Links Followers are a questionable indicator of influence (Cha et al: “The Million Follower Fallacy”) 9
  26. 26. Defining Links Followers are a questionable indicator of influence (Cha et al: “The Million Follower Fallacy”) Intentional, meaningful interaction as a link: @-messages and quotes (re-tweets) 9
  27. 27. Network Structure 10 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 0.00.20.40.60.81.0 Degree Distribution in-degree cumulativefrequency 1 10 100 1000 10000 1e-041e-031e-021e-011e+00 Degree Distribution in-degree highly connected users are infrequent little connected users make up the majority (Clustering Coefficient C = .045 Random Erdös-Rényi Graph C = .001) Distribution of Incoming Links (cumulative)
  28. 28. The Visible Core 11 0 7500 15000 22500 30000 ∑ interactive messages per user / ranked @-Messages Retweets
  29. 29. 12 «The Rich get Richer»
  30. 30. Follower gain over sample timespan correlates with intensity of interaction (Spearman’s Rho rs = .54, two-tailed p ≃ 0) 12 «The Rich get Richer»
  31. 31. Follower gain over sample timespan correlates with intensity of interaction (Spearman’s Rho rs = .54, two-tailed p ≃ 0) Corresponds to “preferential attachement” theory on network growth New participants attach (follow) to most visible nodes 12 «The Rich get Richer»
  32. 32. Content Analysis 13
  33. 33. Content Analysis Hand-coded a sample from each of the 50 most prominent users 13
  34. 34. Content Analysis Hand-coded a sample from each of the 50 most prominent users Prominence: Volume of meaningful communication (direct messages + re-tweets) 13
  35. 35. Content Analysis Hand-coded a sample from each of the 50 most prominent users Prominence: Volume of meaningful communication (direct messages + re-tweets) Coding for content topic, references, links 13
  36. 36. Top 50 users 14 35 6 6 3 Politicians / Parties Media Media-like Blogs Personal Accounts
  37. 37. Top 50 users 14 35 6 6 3 Politicians / Parties Media Media-like Blogs Personal Accounts The Pirate Party The Green Party Jörg Tauss
  38. 38. Content Typology 15 personal intellectual work-related automatic Mindcasting, Lifecasting, Workcasting
  39. 39. Results 16
  40. 40. Results Reach on twitter is very dependent on a small group of users (new gatekeepers) 16
  41. 41. Results Reach on twitter is very dependent on a small group of users (new gatekeepers) Preferential attachement makes entry into twitter ecosystem difficult 16
  42. 42. Results Reach on twitter is very dependent on a small group of users (new gatekeepers) Preferential attachement makes entry into twitter ecosystem difficult Politicians are only successful if they attach to existing topics/trends/conventions? (e.g. Jörg Tauss, Piratenpartei) 16
  43. 43. Results II 17
  44. 44. Results II Dedicated “political” communities do not play a significant role. 17
  45. 45. Results II Dedicated “political” communities do not play a significant role. Dedicated “political” users do (mostly) not play a significant role. 17
  46. 46. Results II Dedicated “political” communities do not play a significant role. Dedicated “political” users do (mostly) not play a significant role. Political communication happens ad-hoc in issue-driven topics among non-political tweets and topics. 17
  47. 47. 18 Topical Interaction
  48. 48. 18 Topical Interaction
  49. 49. Politics as One Among Many Topics 19 Translated: “I’ll be glad once the election campaigns are over and we can all like each other again. Especially once the dull discussions come to an end.”
  50. 50. 20 Thank you
  51. 51. 21 List of hashtags identifying political topics cducsu spd fdp gruene grüne piraten npd linke zensursula bundestagswahl petition politik cduremix09 btw09 wahl sst linkspartei union tvduell
  52. 52. 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  53. 53. Explorative factor analysis not fruitful: 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  54. 54. Explorative factor analysis not fruitful: 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  55. 55. Explorative factor analysis not fruitful: 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  56. 56. Explorative factor analysis not fruitful: 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  57. 57. Explorative factor analysis not fruitful: 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  58. 58. Explorative factor analysis not fruitful: (p-value 8.870000×10^-154, Chi square of 727.04 on 6 degrees of freedom) 22 No Clear-Cut Style Loadings: Factor1 Factor2 Factor3 Factor4 life -0.902 -0.316 -0.105 -0.267 mind 0.973 -0.199 work 0.996 auto 0.993 polit 0.485 0.188 0.800 0.110 level 0.370 0.167 0.678 ext 0.156 0.152 diag -0.118 -0.154 self -0.131
  59. 59. Content Typology 23 0 100 200 300 400 political national politics regional politics link to party website re-tweet directed message

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