An Investigation of Influentials and the Role of Sentiment in Political Communication on Twitter during Election Periods
Dang-Xuan Linh, Stieglitz Stefan, Wladarsch Jennifer, Neuberger Christoph
In this paper, the authors investigate how Twitter is used for political communication during election periods with a specific focus on characteristics and communication behavior of influential accounts. Our analysis focuses on the state parliament election in Berlin (Germany) on 18 September 2011. Tweets of the top-30 most retweeted users are analyzed with respect to content-related features such as emotionality, appraisal of political parties or politicians, and topics. Furthermore, the authors test hypotheses regarding the relationship between sentiment in terms of emotionality and appraisals occurring in tweets and their quantity and speed of dissemination. Our work helps both researchers and politicians to better understand the nature of influentials in political communication and the role of sentiment in information diffusion on Twitter.
Twitter, political communication, election campaign, influentials, sentiment