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Understanding the political representativeness of Twitter users

Barberá, Pablo and Rivero, Gonzalo (2015) Understanding the political representativeness of Twitter users. Social Science Computer Review, 33 (6). pp. 712-729. ISSN 0894-4393

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0894439314558836


In this article, we analyze the structure and content of the political conversations that took place through the microblogging platform Twitter in the context of the 2011 Spanish legislative elections and the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. Using a unique database of nearly 70 million tweets collected during both election campaigns, we find that Twitter replicates most of the existing inequalities in public political exchanges. Twitter users who write about politics tend to be male, to live in urban areas, and to have extreme ideological preferences. Our results have important implications for future research on the relationship between social media and politics, since they highlight the need to correct for potential biases derived from these sources of inequality.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2014
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 11:40
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2024 16:24

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