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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/28256

Title: Twitter and global political crises
Authors: O'Loughlin, Ben
Vaccari, Cristian
Ozgul, Billur A.
Dennis, James
Keywords: Public sphere
Foreign policy
Social media
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Brill
Citation: O'LOUGHLIN, B. ... et al, 2017. Twitter and global political crises. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 10 (2-3), pp. 175-203.
Abstract: This study examines social media responses to the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks by the Islamic State. First impressions of over 2,000,000 tweets containing hashtags #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria suggested a conflation of three issues: (1) Migration: were the attackers homegrown or carrying overseas passports? (2) Violence: why was Paris attacked and why is France bombing the Islamic State? (3) Media: what role should mainstream and social media play during events that are local and global, unique and yet part of a series? However, instead of conflating media, migration and terrorism, we found users of both hashtags discussing Syria, foreign policy, and justice and fairness. Building on previous research exploring how social media affordances encourage certain communication behaviors, we test whether Twitter's reply function is more conducive to antagonistic comments than retweets, which we hypothesise allow for an expression of solidarity and universalism. Conversations about Syria contain greater antagonism, explained by aspects of the tweet, user and network effects. The #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria conversations exhibit neither the contestation of global attention nor a media-driven cycle of insecurity. The high frequency of agonistic and non-visual tweets, particularly about Syria, suggests a robust exchange of claims, refuting pessimistic depictions of Twitter as a space for superficiality and hate.
Description: This paper is closed access until 31st December 2019.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1163/18739865-01002006
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/28256
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1163/18739865-01002006
ISSN: 1873-9857
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Social Sciences)

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