ECSM2014: Using Social Media To Inform Policy Making: To whom are we listening?

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ECSM2014: Using Social Media To Inform Policy Making: To whom are we listening?

  1. 1. Using  Social  Media  To  Inform  Policy  Making:   To  whom  are  we  listening?       Miriam  Fernandez   Elisabeth  Cano   Harith  Alani   Beccy  Alen   Timo   Wandhoefer  
  2. 2. Outline   •  Introduc;on   •  Related  Work   •  Data  collec;on     •  Data  Analysis   •  Conclusions   2  
  3. 3. Introduc@on   •  Social  media   – A  revolu;onary  opportunity  for  governments  to   learn  about  the  ci;zens  and  to  engage  with  them   more  effec;vely  but,     – When  using  social  media  to  inform  Policy  Making…   •  To  whom  are  we  listening?   –  What  are  the  characteris+cs  of  those  ci+zens  discussing  policy   topics  in  social  media?     –  What  are  the  characteris+cs  of  their  discussions?     3  
  4. 4. Related  Work  (I)   •  Three  main  lines  of  work   –  Sta;s;cs  about  the  ci;zens’  par;cipa;on  on  ePlaMorms   •  Not  social  media  par;cipa;on   –  Sta;s;cs  about  users  par;cipa;ng  in  social  media     •  Not  narrowed  to  ePar;cipa;on  /  poli;cal  discussions   –  Studies  of  poli;cal  discussions  in  social  media   •   In  the  context  of  poli;cal  events  (elec;ons,  revolu;ons,  etc.),  not   focused  on  relevant  topics  for  policy  making   4   Par;cipa;on  in   policy  making   Par;cipa;on  in   social  media  
  5. 5. Related  Work  (II)   •  Ci;zen’s  par;cipa;on  in  ePlaMorms   –  There  is  a  need  of  using  social  media  to  improve  public   services,  reduce  costs  and  increase  transparency     –  Par;cipa;on  via  specific  online  government  services  is   generally  low     •  Within  the  27  EU  countries,  only  32%  of  individuals  aged  16  to  74   have  used  the  Internet  for  interac;ng  with  public  authori;es       •  Social  media  par;cipa;on   –  There  is  6%  more  of  women  than  men  in  Twi[er     –  75%  of  users  fall  between  15  to  25  years  of  age     –  The  average  Twi[er  user  follows  102  users,  is  followed  by   50  users  and  post  307  ;mes  during  her  Twi[er  life     5  
  6. 6. Data  Collec@on   •  Data   –  Policy  topics:  76  policy  topics  collected  from  16  PMs     •  German  Bundestag,  the  State  Parliament  North  Rhine-­‐Westphalia,  the   state  Chancellery  of  the  Saarland  and  the  ci;es  Cologne  and  Kempten       –  Generic  topics  (such  as  women)  were  filtered  to  avoid  collec;ng   noisy  data  -­‐>  42  remaining  topics     •  Betreuungsgeld  (Care  Benefit  )   •  Bildungspoli;k  (Educa;on  Policy)     •  Bürgerrechte  (Civil  Rights)   •  Datenschutz  (Privacy  Policy)   –  Topics  were  monitored  in  Twi[er  for  a  week   6   Init  Date   Final  Date   Num  Posts   Num  Users   04/01/2014   12/01/2014   17,790     8,296    
  7. 7. Data  Analysis  (I)   •  Top  contributors   –  Less  than  6%  of  the  users  are  responsible  for  36%  of  the  content     –  73.4%  of  top-­‐contributors  are  NOT  ci;zens  but  news  agencies   and  other  organisa;ons   •  The  average  contributor  to  policy  discussions   –  Is  more  ac;ve,  popular  and  engaged  than  the  average  Twi[er   User   •  (Average  user  discussing  policy  in  our  dataset)  follows  630,  is  followed   by  1365  and  has  posted  9578  ;mes  during  her  life  on  Twi[er   •  (Beevolve,  2012)  Avg  Twi[er  User:  follows  102,  is  followed  by  50,  posts   307   7   Names  of  the  top   contributors    
  8. 8. Data  Analysis  (II)   •  Geographic  Distribu@on  of  Users   –  Higher  concentra;on  of  users  occurs  in  cons;tuencies  of  high   popula;on  density     –  Users  engaged  in  social  media  conversa;ons  around  policy  topics  tend   to  be  geographically  concentrated  in  the  same  regions  than  users   engaged  in  ePar;cipa;on  plaMorms   8   (a) Distribution of eParticipation projects (b) Distribution of Twitter users Figure 1: (a) Distribution of eParticipation projects in Germany (http://www.politik.de/politik- de/projekte_entdecken/beteiligungskarte) (b) Distribution of Twiter users: yellow are locations with less than 10 users, pink are locations with 10 to 50 users, red are locations with more than 50 users
  9. 9. Data  Analysis  (III)   •  Topic  Distribu;on   –  Few  topics  are  extensively  discussed  during  the  analysed  period   •  Privacy,  Network  Policy,  Minimum  Wage,  Copyright,  etc.   –   The  majority  of  topics  are  underrepresented     9   0   500   1000   1500   2000   2500   3000   3500   4000  
  10. 10. Data  Analysis  (IV)     •  Sen;ment  Distribu;on   –  Top  Nega;ve  topics   •  Gene;c  Engineering   •  Immigra;on   •  Dona;ons  to  poli;cal  par;es     –  Top  Controversial  topics  (High  percentage  of  posi;ve   and  nega;ve  posts)   •  Privacy   •  Fracking   10   Use  Sen;Wordnet  German  lexicon  to  compute  sen;ment  
  11. 11. Limita@ons  of  the  data/analysis   •  Data  available  at:     –  h[p://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/miriam/ECSM2014/dataset.zip     •  This  is  a  confined  study   –  Data  collected  only  for  one  social  media  plaMorm  (Twi[er)   –  Data  collected  only  for  the  German  language   –  Data  collected  only  for  a  limited  period  of  ;me   –  Tweets  with  geo-­‐coordinates  are  very  scarce   •  Users  geolocated  by  using  their  profile  informa;on  +  Google  services   –  Concrete  sta;s;cs  about  the  geographical  distribu;on  of  users   engaged  in  ePar;cipa;on  plaMorms  in  Germany  not  available   •   Assump;on:  regions  with  high  number  of  ePar;cipa;on  ini;a;ves  are   also  those  ones  where  more  users  are  engaged  in  ePar;cipa;on     11  
  12. 12. Conclusions   •  Understanding  who  are  the  users  discussing  policy  in   social  media  and  how  policy  topics  are  debated  could   help  PMs  assessing  how  their  views  and  opinions   should  be  weighted  and  considered  to  inform  policy   making   •  Main  highlights  of  this  study   –  A  high  volume  of  conversa;ons  around  policy  topics  does   not  come  from  ci;zens,  but  from  news  agencies  and  other   organisa;ons   –  Users  discussing  policy  topics  in  Twi[er  are  more  ac;ve,   popular  and  engaged  than  the  average  twi[er  user     12  

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