Strategic temporality on social media during the general election of the 2016 u.s. presidential campaign

Feifei Zhang, Jerry Lamont Robinson, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Bryan Semaan, Olga Boichak, Jeffrey Hemsley, Lauren Bryant, Yatish Hegde

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

Abstract

To date, little attention has been paid to the temporal nature of campaigns as they respond to events or react to the different stages of a political election - what we define as strategic temporality. This article seeks to remedy this lack of research by examining campaign Facebook and Twitter messaging shifts during the 2016 U.S. Presidential general election. We used supervised machinelearning techniques to predict the types of messages that campaigns employed via social media and analyzed time-series data to identify messaging shifts over the course of the general election. We also examined how social media platforms and candidates' party affiliation shape campaign messaging. Results suggest differences exist in the types of campaign messages produced on different platforms during the general election. As election day drew closer, campaigns generated more calls-To-Action and informative messages on both Facebook and Twitter. This trend existed in advocacy campaign messages as well, but only on Twitter. Both advocacy and attack tweets were posted more frequently around Presidential and Vice-Presidential debate dates.

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

  • Campaign messaging
  • Campaign strategy
  • Machine learning
  • Political campaigns
  • Social media
  • Temporal trend.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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  • Cite this

    Zhang, F., Robinson, J. L., Stromer-Galley, J., Tanupabrungsun, S., Semaan, B., Boichak, O., Hemsley, J., Bryant, L., & Hegde, Y. (2017). Strategic temporality on social media during the general election of the 2016 u.s. presidential campaign. In 8th International Conference on Social Media and Society: Social Media for Good or Evil, #SMSociety 2017 (Vol. Part F129683). [3097311] Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3097286.3097311