Political Networks on Twitter: Tweeting the Queensland State Election

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Paper presented at the ECREA 2012 conference, Istanbul, 26 Oct. 2012.

Paper presented at the ECREA 2012 conference, Istanbul, 26 Oct. 2012.

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  • 1. Political Networks on Twitter:Tweeting the Queensland StateElectionAxel Bruns, Stephen Harrington, and Tim HighfieldQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane, Australia@snurb_dot_info | @_StephenH | @timhighfieldhttp://mappingonlinepublics.net/
  • 2. THE 2012 QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION• Main contestants: – Australian Labor Party (ALP), led by Premier Anna Bligh – Liberal / National Party (LNP), led by Campbell Newman – Australian Greens – Katter’s Australian Party• Key Dates: – 19 Feb. 2012: election called by Governor of Queensland – 24 March 2012: election day
  • 3. TWITTER AND THE ELECTION• Twitter and Australian politics: – Day-to-day discussion dominated by small group (#auspol) – Substantial, broad use in 2010 federal election (#ausvotes) – #ausvotes activity focussed around election day itself – By now, significant number of accounts by politicians and parties• Twitter and the Queensland election: – Substantial number of candidate accounts – Few accounts with significant activity during campaign – Indicative of party directives to candidates to create accounts? – Limited use of relevant hashtags (#qldvotes, #qldpol)
  • 4. #AUSPOL Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #auspol tweets, size = indegree
  • 5. #AUSVOTES Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #ausvotes tweets, size = indegree
  • 6. #QLDPOL Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #qldpol tweets, size = indegree
  • 7. #QLDVOTES Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #qldvotes tweets, size = indegree
  • 8. CANDIDATE ACTIVITIES: TWEETS SENT
  • 9. TWEETING STYLES OF MAJOR ACCOUNTS
  • 10. THE REAL CAMPBELL?• 5 March 2012: • Newman sets up ‘personal’ @CD_Track account (Can Do on Track) • Discontinued after ten tweets
  • 11. CANDIDATE ACTIVITIES: TWEETS RECEIVED
  • 12. (indegree 10+, edge colour = target)
  • 13. CANDIDATE NETWORKS
  • 14. CANDIDATE NETWORKS
  • 15. CONCLUSIONS• Twitter in the 2012 Queensland state election: – Substantial push to get candidates tweeting, but mixed take-up – Clear differences in tweeting styles: PR vs. engagement – ALP significantly more active than LNP – Candidate interaction divided by party lines, with few exceptions: talking about, not to, opponents; supporting leader and party – Strong take-up by voters: substantial @mentions of accounts – Focus mainly on leading (and problem) candidates – But: few genuine conversations between candidates and voters• Consider the context: – Landslide election, long foreseen – no need for LNP to engage – Social media use may be very different in tight contests
  • 16. http://mappingonlinepublics.net/@snurb_dot_info@jeanburgess@_StephenH@DrTNitins@timhighfield@cdtavijit