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


Abstract
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.

Keywords
Twitter, political communication, election campaign, influentials, sentiment



Publication type
Article in Journal

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2013

Journal
Information, Communication & Society

Volume
16

Issue
5

Start page
795

End page
825

Language
English

DOI