Tweets speak louder than leaders and masses

Sumeer Gul (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)
Iram Mahajan (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)
Nahida Tun Nisa (Department of Botany, Government College for Women, Srinagar, India)
Tariq Ahmad Shah (Central Library, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Srinagar, India)
Asifa Jan (Department of Political Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)
Suhail Ahmad (Department of Political Science, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Publication date: 14 November 2016



Twitter as a social tool allows people to express their views, emotions or communicate information within brevity of 140 character limit. It has provided an opportunity to researchers to tab users’ expressions on social or political issues, be it natural calamity, elections and alike. The purpose of this paper is to assess how people explored Twitter to express their views regarding state assembly elections of Jammu and Kashmir (India).


The authors performed content analysis of 4,537 tweets that were posted by 1,420 different Twitter users over a period of 78 days (October 30, 2014 through January 15, 2015).


Users were found to be active on the days of polling while post-polling period witnessed a huge influx in particular on the day of voting and declaration of results. Nearly 94 percent users have posted around 50 percent of tweets and there were only 81 handles which posted remaining 50 percent tweets. In additions to people, news agencies, anonymous groups and social/political groups have expressed their views on this event. Nearly one-fourth tweets were retweeted and one-fourth tweets were marked favorite. Users have mostly providing news updates or personnel commentaries about the election process.


The study is first of its kind using Twitter to represent the sentiments of people during floods.



Gul, S., Mahajan, I., Nisa, N., Shah, T., Asifa, J. and Ahmad, S. (2016), "Tweets speak louder than leaders and masses", Online Information Review, Vol. 40 No. 7, pp. 900-912.

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