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Characterizing Communication Networks Associated with Political Hashtags.

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Title:Characterizing Communication Networks Associated with Political Hashtags.
Authors:Maruyama, Misa
Suthers, Daniel D.
Robertson, Scott P.
Digital democracy
Social network analysis
Date Issued:2014
Citation:Maruyama, M., Suthers, D. D., & Robertson, S. P. (2014). Characterizing Communication Networks Associated with Political Hashtags. In Proceedings of the 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), pp. 1546-1555. IEEE.
Abstract:Among the diverse forms of communication and information networks found in the Web 2.0 environment, “social” and “informational” communication networks have been characterized in terms of their network metrics. Although Twitter is partly based on relationships between actors, activity has been shown to reflect characteristics of
information networks. This study examines activity in Twitter within spaces defined by hashtags on political topics. We gathered our own data on a hashtag associated with the 2012 Hawaii senatorial race and compared our results to those from other political
hashtag networks, and to typical social and information networks as well as random graphs. Results show that hashtag-centered reply and retweet networks in this domain do not fall clearly into the social or informational categories. There appears to be a third kind of network associated with political debate. More generally, it may be productive to
conceive of communication networks in terms of multidimensional characteristics rather than categories.
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