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Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:  A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
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Examining Polarization in Political Social Media: A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal Election

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Presented at the CAIS 2012

Presented at the CAIS 2012

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • 1. Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal ElectionANATOLIY GRUZDSCHOOL OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENTDALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY, HALIFAX, NSEmail: gruzd@dal.ca Twitter: @dalprof
  • 2. Outline Background: 2011 Canadian Federal Election 2011 Election & Social Media Political Polarization Research Question & Study Design Results Conclusions & Future WorkTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 3. Background: 2011 Canadian Federal Election March 25-26 The three opposition parties rejected the governments proposed budget Governor General dissolved the 40th Parliament May 2 - Election DayTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 4. Background: 2011 Canadian Federal Election Combination of election period opinion polls Attribution: Galneweinhaw at en.wikipediaTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 5. 2011 Election & Social MediaTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 6. 2011 Election & Social Media: Twitter accounts of Party LeadersTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 7. 2011 Election & Social Media: Sample Twitter Communication Network on #elxn41Top 10 most retweetedusers1. wikileaks2. acoyne3. m_ignatieff4. RosieBarton5. JianGhomeshi6. prjktdemocracy7. democracycanada8. can_ada9. elizabethmay10. wicary Source: Twitter, #elxn41, Apr 27-30, 2011 Twitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 8. 2011 Election & Social Media: Political Topics Discussed in the Twitterverse Source: Twitter, #cdnpoli, Mar 26 - Apr 3, 2011Twitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 9. 2011 Election & Social Media: Humour in Canadian PoliticsTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 10. Political Polarization
  • 11. Political Polarization: Modern Examples Cable news and radio talk shows (Dilliplane, 2011) Political blogs (Adamic & Glance, 2005) Facebook (Gilbert & Karahalios, 2009; Gaines & Mondak, 2009)Twitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 12. Research Question Whether Canadian Twitter users are likely to cluster around shared political interests? Related work on Twitter (Yardi & boyd, 2010; Conover et.al., 2011)Twitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 13. Study Design Data Collection http://Netlytic.org A sample of 5,918 messages with the “#elxn41” hashtag posted by 1,492 people between April 28-30 Social Network Analysis ORA UCINETTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 14. Study Design Manual Classification of Twitter users in the dataset Based on their self-declared political views and affiliations - 256 supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) - 221 - New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) - 83 - Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) - 48 - Green Party of Canada (GPC)Twitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 15. Study Design Manual Classification of Twitter users in the dataset Conservative Spam Left Unknown & Green Undecided Bloc Liberal NDP OtherTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 16. Results Supporters of the four parties had more connections to people in other parties than to supporters of their own party Conservative Liberal NDP GreenTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 17. Results Comparison with 10,000 randomly generated networks Ratio of Observed/Expected connections among political parties’ supporters on Twitter Conservative Liberal NDP GreenConservative 3.71 0.79 0.34 0.79 Liberal 0.40 3.43 0.52 1.71 NDP 0.40 1.47 1.60 0.69 Green 0.26 1.71 0.40 6.99 Twitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 18. Conclusions There are some pockets of political polarization on Twitter homophily - when people in social networks tend to group around similar backgrounds and interests, including shared political views. Twitter has potential for supporting open cross-ideological discourse 43% of the accounts in the sample did not explicitly stated their support for any party or stated support to more than one partyTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 19. Future Work “Even though people are likely to be exposed to a variety of points of views on Twitter, it is not an effective platform to carry on meaningful discussions” (Yardi & boyd, 2010) Content analysis of messages that form across ideological connections on TwitterTwitter: @dalprof SocialMediaLab.ca
  • 20. Examining Polarization in Political Social Media:A Case of Twitter and the 2011 Canadian Federal ElectionANATOLIY GRUZDSCHOOL OF INFORMATION MANAGEMENTDALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY, HALIFAX, NSEmail: gruzd@dal.ca Twitter: @dalprof

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