Elite tweets: analyzing the Twitter communication patterns of Labour Party peers in the House of Lords

Adi, A., Erickson, K. and Lilleker, D. G. (2014) Elite tweets: analyzing the Twitter communication patterns of Labour Party peers in the House of Lords. Policy and Internet, 6(1), pp. 1-27. (doi:10.1002/1944-2866.POI350)

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Publisher's URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291944-2866

Abstract

The microblogging platform Twitter has gained notoriety for its status as both a communication channel between private individuals and as a public forum monitored by journalists, the public, and the state. Its potential application for political communication has not gone unnoticed; politicians have used Twitter to attract voters, interact with constituencies and advance issue-based campaigns. This article reports findings from the research team's work with 21 peers sitting on the Labour frontbench. The researchers monitored and archived the peers' activity on Twitter for a period of 3 months between June and September 2012. Using a sample of 4,363 tweets and a mixed methodology combining semantic analysis, social network analysis, and quantitative analysis, this article explores the peers' patterns of usage and communication on Twitter. Key findings are that as a tweeting community their behavior is consistent with other communities. However, there is evidence that a coherent strategy is lacking in their coordinated use of the platform. Labour peers tend to work in small, clustered networks of self-interest as opposed to collectively to promote party policy.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Twitter Social Network Analysis House of Lords
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Erickson, Dr Kristofer
Authors: Adi, A., Erickson, K., and Lilleker, D. G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Research Group:CREATe
Journal Name:Policy and Internet
Publisher:John Wiley and Sons
ISSN:1944-2866

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