The 2016 US Presidential Election on Facebook: An Exploratory Analysis of Sentiments

Date
2018-01-03
Authors
Alashri, Saud
Srivatsav Kandala, Srinivasa
Bajaj, Vikash
Parriott, Emily
Awazu, Yukika
C. Desouza, Kevin
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Abstract
Social media platforms are valuable tools for political campaigns. In this study, we analyze a dataset representing over 22 thousand Facebook posts by candidates and over 48 million comments to understand the nature of online discourse. Specifically, we study the interaction between political candidates and the public during the 2016 presidential elections in the United States. We outline a novel method to classify commentators into four groups: strong supporters, supporters, dissenters, and strong dissenters. Comments by each group on policy-related topics are analyzed using sentiment analysis. Finally, we discuss avenues for future research to study the dynamics of social media platforms and political campaigns.
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Data Analytics, Data Mining and Machine Learning for Social Media, 2016 Elections, US Elections, Facebook, Sentiment Analysis, Social Networks.
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