Tweets That Resonate

Information Flows and the Growth of Twitter's Universal Basic Income Discussion Space

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social media are an important space for people to discuss novel policy innovations. In particular, Twitter, whose user base is skewed toward those who disproportionately affect news coverage, and by extension the public agenda, represents a particularly useful platform for policy advocates wishing to grow their audience. This article extends theoretical understandings of information flows and the growth of networked discussion spaces by examining the online discussion space around a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which has been proposed to alleviate social tensions relating to joblessness resulting from technological advances. Using content analysis and statistical methods, we show that tweets in the UBI discussion space that inform others are the most likely to be shared, but tweets that emotionally resonate with users are the most likely to reach new audiences and therefore bring new actors into the discussion space. These findings contribute to the literature on viral events and dynamic networks, providing insight into how policies like UBI are discussed and diffuse on social media platforms like Twitter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPolicy and Internet
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

basic income
twitter
information flow
Social Media
Statistical methods
Innovation
Growth
social media
innovation policy
statistical method
content analysis
news
coverage
event

Keywords

  • Income inequality
  • Information diffusion
  • Information flows
  • Policy adoption
  • Policy innovation
  • Social networks
  • Twitter
  • Universal Basic Income

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

@article{2d5a39b3fbaa4392b897ee0020e1ac20,
title = "Tweets That Resonate: Information Flows and the Growth of Twitter's Universal Basic Income Discussion Space",
abstract = "Social media are an important space for people to discuss novel policy innovations. In particular, Twitter, whose user base is skewed toward those who disproportionately affect news coverage, and by extension the public agenda, represents a particularly useful platform for policy advocates wishing to grow their audience. This article extends theoretical understandings of information flows and the growth of networked discussion spaces by examining the online discussion space around a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which has been proposed to alleviate social tensions relating to joblessness resulting from technological advances. Using content analysis and statistical methods, we show that tweets in the UBI discussion space that inform others are the most likely to be shared, but tweets that emotionally resonate with users are the most likely to reach new audiences and therefore bring new actors into the discussion space. These findings contribute to the literature on viral events and dynamic networks, providing insight into how policies like UBI are discussed and diffuse on social media platforms like Twitter.",
keywords = "Income inequality, Information diffusion, Information flows, Policy adoption, Policy innovation, Social networks, Twitter, Universal Basic Income",
author = "Jeffrey Hemsley and Garcia-Murillo, {Martha A} and MacInnes, {Ian P}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/poi3.175",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Policy and Internet",
issn = "1944-2866",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Tweets That Resonate

T2 - Information Flows and the Growth of Twitter's Universal Basic Income Discussion Space

AU - Hemsley, Jeffrey

AU - Garcia-Murillo, Martha A

AU - MacInnes, Ian P

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Social media are an important space for people to discuss novel policy innovations. In particular, Twitter, whose user base is skewed toward those who disproportionately affect news coverage, and by extension the public agenda, represents a particularly useful platform for policy advocates wishing to grow their audience. This article extends theoretical understandings of information flows and the growth of networked discussion spaces by examining the online discussion space around a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which has been proposed to alleviate social tensions relating to joblessness resulting from technological advances. Using content analysis and statistical methods, we show that tweets in the UBI discussion space that inform others are the most likely to be shared, but tweets that emotionally resonate with users are the most likely to reach new audiences and therefore bring new actors into the discussion space. These findings contribute to the literature on viral events and dynamic networks, providing insight into how policies like UBI are discussed and diffuse on social media platforms like Twitter.

AB - Social media are an important space for people to discuss novel policy innovations. In particular, Twitter, whose user base is skewed toward those who disproportionately affect news coverage, and by extension the public agenda, represents a particularly useful platform for policy advocates wishing to grow their audience. This article extends theoretical understandings of information flows and the growth of networked discussion spaces by examining the online discussion space around a Universal Basic Income (UBI), which has been proposed to alleviate social tensions relating to joblessness resulting from technological advances. Using content analysis and statistical methods, we show that tweets in the UBI discussion space that inform others are the most likely to be shared, but tweets that emotionally resonate with users are the most likely to reach new audiences and therefore bring new actors into the discussion space. These findings contribute to the literature on viral events and dynamic networks, providing insight into how policies like UBI are discussed and diffuse on social media platforms like Twitter.

KW - Income inequality

KW - Information diffusion

KW - Information flows

KW - Policy adoption

KW - Policy innovation

KW - Social networks

KW - Twitter

KW - Universal Basic Income

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85050482780&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85050482780&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/poi3.175

DO - 10.1002/poi3.175

M3 - Article

JO - Policy and Internet

JF - Policy and Internet

SN - 1944-2866

ER -