Super-amplifiers! The role of Twitter extended party networks in political elections

Nara Yoon, Jeff Hemsley, Alexander Smith, Ellen Simpson, James Eakins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Modern election campaigns leverage social media and the networks within to get their messages directly out to the public. We use the theory of extended party networks to explore networks of engaged users who extensively amplify messages posted by political candidates. Using Twitter data from the Senate races in the U.S. 2018 midterm election, we build Twitter extended party networks out of dedicated amplifiers to understand how those engaged users associate with the candidate message amplification. Results show that certain super-amplifiers have a disproportionately large impact on information flows, and that decentralized networks with higher rates of follower reciprocity are associated with higher rates of message diffusion. Our study also finds some support for the idea that super-amplifiers engage in coordinated efforts to diffuse political messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPolicy and Internet
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • extended party networks
  • message diffusion
  • super-amplifiers
  • Twitter
  • virality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Administration
  • Health Policy
  • Computer Science Applications

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