Patterns of Collective User Behavior in Different Electoral Campaigns

In this work we take advantage of the availability of Twitter data gathered during two electoral campaigns [1] that are very close in time (the Spanish general elections held on the 20th of December 2015 and the repetition of the elections on the 26th of July 2016) to compare the collective user behavior manifested in two analogous social systems with a similar context. Our objective is to study and characterize emergent behaviors that are recurrently manifested in political contexts.
To this end, we have computed and compared the time series of the number of tweets per day, or daily activity, for both elections. We have found that the temporal series of activity of both electoral periods are highly correlated. Furthermore, our results suggest that the number of tweets, retweets and mentions scale linearly with the number of unique users that take part in the conversation. In order to explore the evolution of the interactions among users, we have built networks of mentions and retweets and studied their temporal evolution. This has enabled us to verify that they show similar topological properties in both electoral periods. Besides, we have studied the mention and retweet subgraphs induced by political users and obtained results that imply a lack of communication among different parties, as observed in previous works [2]. Furthermore, we have found that an intensification of the interaction can be detected between parties after the formation of a coalition.

Authors: 
Samuel Martin-Gutierrez, Juan Carlos Losada and Rosa M. Benito
Room: 
9
Date: 
Monday, September 24, 2018 - 12:00 to 12:15

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