Reflections and Short Papers, Day 1

Marie Neihouser, Julien Boyadjian: Why and how panelize Twitter?

Abstract: Like surveys, Twitter is a new means of observing public opinion, and even a predictor of election results according to some authors, but the messages posted on the network are often not associated with the socioeconomic characteristics of their authors.  Researchers are therefore limited to studying the network’s opinion as a whole, without separating the various social subgroups involved in the debate (students and professionals, left-wing and right-wing activists, etc.).  In order to overcome this limitation, we created a panel of 1,228 political twitterers whose socio-demographic characteristics we identified through a questionnaire.  The analysis reveals that the number of political tweets posted by the panel is strongly determined by the sociological and political makeup (age, profession, level of interest in politics) of twitterers, but also by the degree of politicization of the news.


Jean Yves Dormagen: The logics of access to the audience on the social network Twitter

Abstract: This article examines the mechanisms of Twitter audience reach in the particular case of the French political twittersphere. In order to determine the level of concentration of the audience and its distribution across different accounts, we compiled a comprehensive database of 147,420 accounts that we classified according to an audience index based on the account’s number of followers and average number of retweets. The analysis shows that only about a hundred accounts draw the bulk of the audience on the network, and that these accounts belong to major media outlets or to figures holding top positions in fields that receive extensive media coverage. Twitter thus proves to be an area where amassed media fame capital can be converted into a new type of digital audience capital.


Karolina Koc-Michalska: Political communication, Internet and social networks. European Parliament electoral campaigning in the comparative perspective (2009 – 2014)

Abstract: The proposed on-going research paper concentrates on political communication via Internet and social networks performed by political parties during European Parliament elections. The research is based on mix-method approach comparing in time (2009 – 2014) and cross-sectional (France, Great Britain, Germany and Poland) online communication strategies. Paper is based on research conducted during the 2009 (within the CENMEP project) and 2014 European Parliament elections cycle. Second part of the paper is based on analysis of the online communication strategy on Facebook and Twitter performed by political parties being present in European Parliament elections in all 28 European Union countries.


Joo-Young Jung and Yong-Chan Kim: The influence of opinion leadership, followership, and curatorship on mass media connections and political participation

Abstract: Rooted in the early opinion leadership research in two-step flow model of communication (Katz & Lazarsfeld, 1955) and diffusion of innovation (Rogers, 1962) traditions, the study revisits the relationship between opinion leadership and mass media connections in the context of the current media environment. Expanding the research on opinion leadership, the study develops concepts of “opinion followership” and “opinion curatorship” to better understand different ways in which people connect to the media and to other people for political affairs. The influence of opinion leadership, followership and curatorship on offline and online mass media connections, political participations on social networking services (SNSs), and offline political participations are proposed and examined.


Chung-Hong Chan and King-Wa Fu: Differential opinions among Hong Kong online social media, traditional news media, opinion polls and the government consultations on methods for selecting chief executive in 2017

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to compare the opinion among Hong Kong online social media, traditional news media, opinion polls and the government consultations on methods for selecting chief executive in 2017. (Electoral reform) Data collected from the following four sources will be compared: 1) news article collected from major online news outlets; 2) online opinion expressed in popular social media sites such as Facebook, forums and microblogs; 3) Public opinion polls; 4) comments collected from the government consultation. Data collected from the four sources will be operationalized into supporting or not a list of agenda such as supporting civil nomination. The distribution of these agenda among the four sources will be compared. The current study is still a work in progress.


Vivian Hsueh-Hua Chen: Online Participation and Public discourse: A case study in Singapore

Abstract: Facebook, as a social media has influenced people’s life in significant ways. One way Facebook brings social impact was to allow for grassroots movement. Singapore as a multicultural/multiracial society has historically stroke for racial harmony in the society. Due to policies on maintaining racial harmony, public discourses have always been supportive for “politically correct” actions and discourses. However, in recent years, increasing number of new immigrants from Mainland China presented challenges to this commonly understood social code of keeping all ethnic/racial groups equal and maintaining good intergroup relationships. Despite the policy on racial harmony and the ban in discriminating comments from different ethic/racial/national groups, events such as August 21, 2011’s Cook and Share a Pot of Curry Day in Singapore on Facebook attracted overwhelming responses from Singaporeans to express their disapproval of the impact new immigrants from China brings to Singapore society. This study aims to analyze the ways in which Facebook allows people to actively participate in public affairs, empowers silenced voice to be heard, as well as exhibit new interaction patterns and bring about both positive and negative social consequences through case study of a catalyst that triggered August 21, 2011’s Cook and Share a Pot of Curry Day in Singapore.

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