Call to retweet: Negotiated diffusion of strategic political messages

Jeffrey Hemsley, Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Bryan Semaan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twitter allows political candidates to broadcast messages directly to the public, some of which spread virally and potentially reach new audiences and supporters. During the 2014 U.S. gubernatorial election, 74 candidates posted 20,580 tweets, of which, 10,946 were retweeted a total of 139,315 times. Using content analysis, automated classification and regression analysis, we show that actors with different levels of network influence tend to promote different types of election content, but that the convergence of their choices and actions lead to information flows that reach the largest audiences. We also show that actors with middle-level influence, in terms of the number of followers they have, tend to be the most influential in the diffusion process. Our work provides empirical support for the theoretical framework of negotiated diffusion, which suggests that information flows are the result of the convergence of top-down forces (structures and powerful gatekeepers) and bottom-up forces (collective sharing of actors with varying degrees of influence).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication8th International Conference on Social Media and Society
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Media for Good or Evil, #SMSociety 2017
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
VolumePart F129683
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348478
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2017
Event8th International International Conference on Social Media and Society, #SMSociety 2017 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jul 28 2017Jul 30 2017

Other

Other8th International International Conference on Social Media and Society, #SMSociety 2017
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period7/28/177/30/17

Keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Gatekeepers
  • Information Flow
  • Political Elections
  • Social Networks
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software

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  • Cite this

    Hemsley, J., Tanupabrungsun, S., & Semaan, B. (2017). Call to retweet: Negotiated diffusion of strategic political messages. In 8th International Conference on Social Media and Society: Social Media for Good or Evil, #SMSociety 2017 (Vol. Part F129683). [3097295] Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3097286.3097295