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Abstract

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The Brexit Referendum on Twitter
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-294-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Myunggoon Choi, Yoonmo Sang and Han Woo Park

The purpose of this paper is to provide a network analysis of Twitter discussions about Myung-Bak Lee, a former president of South Korea, to gain a better understanding of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a network analysis of Twitter discussions about Myung-Bak Lee, a former president of South Korea, to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the public opinion exchange on Twitter.

Design/methodology/approach

Opinion leaders in the discussion network were identified by considering the longitudinal distribution of tweets containing the former president’s name, and three types of messages (“followings,” “mentions,” and “retweets”) were analyzed using data collected from November 1, 2011, to April 20, 2012. The sample included 26,150 Twitter users and 892,034 relationships reflecting three types of messages.

Findings

The results indicate that the discussion about President Myung-Bak Lee was dominated by liberal Twitter users who already had considerable influence both online and offline. In addition, Twitter users were unlikely to interact with other users with opposing political views.

Research limitations/implications

Almost all of the opinion leaders identified in the study held liberal political views, and liberal Twitter users dominated the discussion network. In addition, the Korean Twitter network showed the presence of the homophily phenomenon, implying that opinion leaders’ influence within the Twitter network was limited to other users sharing the same political views. Further, political views of opinion leaders were skewed toward a particular political stance without necessarily representing the opinion of the general public, possibly hindering the democratic process.

Originality/value

This study tests the homophily thesis in the context of Twitter users in Korea and contributes to the literature on Twitter-based political discourse by identifying opinion leaders in Korean Twitter networks and examining the phenomenon of homophily within those networks.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 66 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2021

Mariela Golik and Maria Rita Blanco

This empirical study aims to analyse the talent spotters' perception of their tendency to be homophilic in the talent identification process and their stance on it…

Abstract

Purpose

This empirical study aims to analyse the talent spotters' perception of their tendency to be homophilic in the talent identification process and their stance on it. Besides, this article examines the type of homophily and the homophily attributes involved.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a qualitative design, 37 middle and senior line managers, working for two Argentine conglomerates in six Latin American countries, participated in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Homophily was perceived by most of talent spotters, who judged it as natural, while it was not perceived by a small group of the interviewees. In addition, among those who recognized its presence, another group advocated the homophilic advantages, while a final one admitted the presence of homophily and its negative implications. In addition, a variety of homophily attributes were identified; most of them within the value category. We posit that if homophily attributes are, at the same time, components of high potential models, homophily will constitute a functional bias to the talent identification process.

Originality/value

This is the first study that explores the talent spotters' perception of their homophily bias as well as the diversity of homophily attributes present in the talent identification process. This research highlights the relevance of the homophily attributes' analysis, taking into account its alignment to the potential model in order to improve the talent identification process.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Melissa Merry

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of interest groups in the formation of online echo chambers and to determine whether interest groups’ use of social media…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of interest groups in the formation of online echo chambers and to determine whether interest groups’ use of social media contributes to political polarization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a content analysis of nearly 10,000 tweets (from 2009 to 2014) by the Brady campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association to examine how groups engage with their political allies and opponents.

Findings

The results indicated that both groups engaged primarily with their supporters on Twitter while avoiding confrontation with their opponents. In particular, both groups used hashtags designed to reach their supporters, retweeted messages almost exclusively from other users with whom they agreed, and disproportionately used Twitter handles of their allies, while avoiding the use of Twitter handles of their opponents.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that interest groups’ use of social media accelerates the formation of online echo chambers, but does not lead to an increase in polarization beyond existing levels, given practices that maintain civility between opposing sides.

Originality/value

This is one of few studies to examine the role of interest groups in the formation of online echo chambers. It also uses a novel approach – the examination of both the interactions that occur among social media users and those that are explicitly avoided.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Xiaohui Wang and Yunya Song

The spread of rumors on social media has caused increasing concerns about an under-informed or even misinformed public when it comes to scientific issues. However…

Abstract

Purpose

The spread of rumors on social media has caused increasing concerns about an under-informed or even misinformed public when it comes to scientific issues. However, researchers have rarely investigated their diffusion in non-western contexts. This study aims to systematically examine the content and network structure of rumor-related discussions around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on Chinese social media.

Design/methodology/approach

This study identified 21,837 rumor-related posts of GMOs on Weibo, one of China's most popular social media platforms. An approach combining social network analysis and content analysis was employed to classify user attitudes toward rumors, measure the level of homophily of their attitudes and examine the nature of their interactions.

Findings

Though a certain level of homophily existed in the interaction networks, referring to the observed echo chamber effect, Weibo also served as a public forum for GMO discussions in which cross-cutting ties between communities existed. A considerable amount of interactions emerged between the pro- and anti-GMO camps, and most of them involved providing or requesting information, which could mitigate the likelihood of opinion polarization. Moreover, this study revealed the declining role of traditional opinion leaders and pointed toward the need for alternative strategies for efficient fact-checking.

Originality/value

In general, the findings of this study suggested that microblogging platforms such as Weibo can function as public forums for discussing GMOs that expose users to ideologically cross-cutting viewpoints. This study stands to provide important insights into the viral processes of scientific rumors on social media.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 15 February 2021

Jingrong Tong and Landong Zuo

Abstract

Details

The Brexit Referendum on Twitter
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-294-9

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Book part
Publication date: 30 January 2015

Katherine Ognyanova and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach

Grounded in Media System Dependency theory, this work investigates the impact of new media on political efficacy. It suggests that dependence on online resources affects…

Abstract

Grounded in Media System Dependency theory, this work investigates the impact of new media on political efficacy. It suggests that dependence on online resources affects people’s perceptions about the democratic potential of the Internet. Using structural equation modeling, the study tests the relationship between political attitudes and the perceived utility of the Web. The analysis employs measures that take into consideration the facilitating role of communication technologies. Results indicate that online political efficacy is associated with individual views about the comprehensiveness and credibility of new media. Efficacy is also linked to the perceived ability of online tools to aid the maintenance of ideologically homogenous social networks. The intensity of Internet dependency relations is found to be predicted by the perceived comprehensiveness – but not credibility – of online news.

Details

Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-454-2

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 15 February 2021

Jingrong Tong and Landong Zuo

Abstract

Details

The Brexit Referendum on Twitter
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-294-9

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Emily Vraga

Social networking sites (SNS) increasingly serve as a source of political content for Americans. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationships between types of…

Abstract

Purpose

Social networking sites (SNS) increasingly serve as a source of political content for Americans. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationships between types of political content exposure, especially congruent vs incongruent content, and its effects on political expression and participation. This study pays special attention to whether these relationships differ depending on whether an individual affiliates with the Republican or Democratic party.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a representative national sample to examine the relationships among exposure to congruent vs incongruent political content via SNS, political expression, and political participation. This study also tests whether these relationships are consistent for Democrats vs Republicans.

Findings

The results suggest the effects of political content exposure on political expression on SNS depend on how many friends post about politics, as well as whether that content is congruent or incongruent with one’s political beliefs. Moreover, the relationship between exposure to congruent vs incongruent content, political expression, and political participation differs for Republicans and Democrats.

Originality/value

This study highlights the need for researchers to take more care in distinguishing the type of and the audience for political content exposure via social media websites. Further, if the relationships between seeing political content via social media and acting upon such content – either through posting behaviors or participatory activities – differs by political group, it raises the potential for disparities in democratic engagement.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Sebastián Valenzuela, Nicolás M. Somma, Andrés Scherman and Arturo Arriagada

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between social media use and protest participation in Latin America. It advances two questions. First, does social…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between social media use and protest participation in Latin America. It advances two questions. First, does social media increase the chances of protest participation at the individual level, as prior research shows for advanced democracies? Second, in a region with glaring economic and political inequalities, does social media deepen or reduce the gaps in protest participation that exist among men and women, the young and the old, different social classes, or people with varying levels of political engagement?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses cross-sectional Latin American Public Opinion Project survey data from 2012 representing the adult population of 17 Latin American countries. It presents binary logistic regression models with protest participation as the dependent variable, social media use for political purposes as the main independent variable, control variables, and interactions.

Findings

Using social media for political purposes significantly increases protest chances – it is the second strongest predictor. Additionally, social media reduces protest gaps associated with individuals’ age, gender, psychological engagement with politics, and recruitment networks.

Originality/value

First, the paper shows that the contribution of social media to collective protest travels beyond advanced democracies – it also holds for more unequal regions with weaker democratic trajectories like Latin America. Second, it shows that social media may mitigate participatory inequalities not only, as shown by past research, regarding institutional participation (e.g. voting), but also regarding contentious tactics.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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