Inter and Intra-Language Engagement on Twitter in Arab Spring Hashtag Communities

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Paper by Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess and Tim Highfield, presented at The Arab Spring: A Symposium on Social Media and the Politics of Reportage, at Swinburne University, Melbourne (8 June 2012).

Paper by Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess and Tim Highfield, presented at The Arab Spring: A Symposium on Social Media and the Politics of Reportage, at Swinburne University, Melbourne (8 June 2012).

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  • 1. Inter- and Intra-LanguageEngagement on Twitterin Arab Spring Hashtag CommunitiesAssoc. Prof. Axel Bruns, Dr. Jean Burgess, & Dr. Tim HighfieldARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and InnovationQueensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australiaa.bruns@qut.edu.au – je.burgess@qut.edu.au – t.highfield@qut.edu.au@snurb_dot_info - @jeanburgess - @timhighfieldhttp://mappingonlinepublics.net/ http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  • 2. The Arab Spring and Twittero Twitter analysis: o Tracking of key hashtags (#egypt, #libya) throughout 2011 o #egypt: 23 Jan. to 30 Nov. – 7.48m tweets, 445,000 unique users o #libya: 16 Feb. to 30 Nov. – 5.27m tweets, 476,000 unique users o Language differentiation: o Fewer than 10 characters above ASCII 127  tweet is ‘Latin’ o More than 10 characters above ASCII 127  tweet is ‘non-Latin’ o User groups: ‘Latin’ (< 33%), ‘mixed’ (33-66%), ‘non-Latin’ (> 66%) o User differentiation: o Lead users: top 1% most active users o Highly engaged users: next 2-10% active users o Least active users: bottom 90% active users http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  • 3. #egypt11 Feb.: Mubarak Resigns
  • 4. #egypt
  • 5. #egypt
  • 6. #egypt
  • 7. #libya21 Feb.: first reports of unrest 23 Aug.: Bab al-Azizia stormed
  • 8. #libya
  • 9. #libya
  • 10. Comparing Different Phaseso Twitter activity patterns change over time: o #egypt: 1-28 Feb. vs. 15 June to 15 Sep. o #libya: 16 Feb. to 15 Mar. vs. 1 Aug. to 30 Sep. o Early media attention vs. later developmentso Differences in Latin / mixed / non-Latin tweeting?o Differences between most / least active users?o Interactions between language groups? http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  • 11. #egypt1-28 Feb. 2011 15 June to 15 Sep. 2011
  • 12. #egypt: @mentions1-28 Feb. 2011 15 June to 15 Sep. 2011
  • 13. #egypt: @mentions1-28 Feb. 2011 15 June to 15 Sep. 2011
  • 14. #libya16 Feb. to 15 Mar. 2011 1 Aug. to 30 Sep. 2011
  • 15. #libya: @mentions16 Feb. to 15 Mar. 2011 1 Aug. to 30 Sep. 2011
  • 16. #libya: @mentions16 Feb. to 15 Mar. 2011 1 Aug. to 30 Sep. 2011
  • 17. Findingso Clear differences between #egypt and #libya: o #egypt: o Significant Latin participation at first, then strong shift towards non-Latin o May indicate fading of #25Jan hashtag, shift to #egypt for ongoing discussion o Lead users especially likely to send non-Latin tweets o More mixed-language users in lead groups o #libya: o Latin-dominated throughout, small shift to non-Latin o May point to limited domestic use of / access to Twitter o Lead users especially likely to send Latin tweets o Both: o Latin users most likely to engage with non-hashtag users (e.g. news organisations, other external sources) o Non-Latin users (in #egypt) equally engaging with non-hashtag users and mixed-language users o To do: o What URLs are being shared in each case? o Are there differences between Latin / non-Latin users? o Are there differences between more / less active users? http://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  • 18. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/@snurb_dot_info@jeanburgess@_StephenH@DrTNitins@timhighfield@cdtavijit http://mappingonlinepublics.net/