Elite tweets

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  1. 1. Elite tweets:Analysing the twitter communicationpatterns of Labour Party Peers in the House of Lords Ana Adi (@ana_adi),Kris Erickson, Darren Lilleker (@DrDGL) Media School, Bournemouth University
  2. 2. Strategic Political Communication Dissemination of political arguments using allappropriate media Setting the agenda across media and thepublic sphere Gaining influence, within politics and publicopinion Building support networks, joining andreinforcing existing networks
  3. 3. Twitter and political communication Potential to disseminate messages to a wideaudience Potentiates @ conversations and themedargumentational # linkages Potential to extend reach within networks anddirect contacts with influentials Potential to build and join personal/partisansupport and issue networks
  4. 4. Case Study: Labour Lords The Labour affiliated peers who constitute thefrontbench in the UK upper chamber. Time-served political experts with partisan andpersonal political agendas Serve multiple constituencies Partisan but independently minded Digital migrants Have potential influence on policy and wideragenda
  5. 5. Methodology Analysis of Tweets by Labour Lordsfrontbench, a total of 22 peers Analysis of usage of @ and #, and content Semantic analysis of #LASPO and #lordsreform Network analysis of in and out links andagenda setting around # usage.
  6. 6. Overall Tweeting Activity
  7. 7. Message Content
  8. 8. Accessibility and Interactivity
  9. 9. Argumentational Linkages
  10. 10. @, #, hyperlinks and content @ used in 63.2% oftweets, hashtags in16.6%, hyperlinks in 14.8% @ functionality was used70% in personal/family andunclassified (usually replies) Political tweets were @60% of time, hashtags in16.1%, hyperlinks 14.9%
  11. 11. Twitter Efficiency Demonstrates a difference in strategies with some receiving large amounts of in-degree @ and RT traffic. There is little relationship with tweet frequency
  12. 12. In-network LinkagesBased purely on Tweets between the group, the blacks arereference points are RTed or messaged.Reds are sent to or contact one another.The out-there blues talk to one another almost exclusivelyThe yellows broadcast with no references in or out
  13. 13. Media linkagesMainstream journalists and presscontacted more frequently thanbloggers. Everyone converges onguardian and telegraphLadyBasildon, LordPhil and Jim Knight allfocus on LabourLordsUK.The out there group LabourList.All reference media, not transmitting to
  14. 14. The Twittersphere for #LASPOAlthough a seldom used hashtag, Lord WillyBach (@FightBach) is prominent as activist
  15. 15. Agenda setting: Willy Bach & #LASPO Bach acts not as creator but a communication hub across #LASPO and #legalaid hashtags
  16. 16. Authority: #LASPOThree poles of influence, one smaller one using the accessible #legal aid; Lord Philof Brum leading on an event; Bach leading on the oppositional argument
  17. 17. Semantic Networking: #LASPO Again we see Bach leading the agenda and partisan messages through the @LabourLordsUK aggregator. His case study Imi Ahmed gained him media coverage
  18. 18. The Twittersphere for #lordsreform Debate on Lords Reform using #lordsreform features the aggregator, Lord Philip Hunt, Labour Deputy Leader as key figures in the debate.
  19. 19. Agenda Setting: @labourlordsuk and#lords reform@LabourLordsUK the main hub, then @LordPhilOfBrum, conversation involved a widerange of Lords and other political actors Lords in particular: self interest?
  20. 20. Semantic Networking: #lords reform Focused debate, using few terms
  21. 21. Core findings Content shaped by norms of politics or Twitter mediumor a mix? Mixed use of @ and #, # used to lead agenda andshape debates There is no evidence of a pareto principle, networkcentrality can be manipulated with various measures Clear strategy of linking to mainstream media Lords work as centres of authority on issues Hot, partisan issues (#LASPO) encourage high activityfrom key individuals; wider non-partisan issues(#lordsreform) encourage broader, focusedconversations
  22. 22. Tentative Conclusions Mixed use of Twitter, driven by interests andpersonality Party politics dominant part of a mix, but notacross all peers, general news prioritised bysome. Twitter can establish communication hubs andauthorities Twitter has high potential but dependent onindividual usage