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Predicting elections on Twitter: a different way of thinking about the data

Recently, there has been a lot of interest in the potential of social media as a means to understand public opinion. Social media monitoring, which in theory can extract information from tweets and Facebook posts and quantify positive and negative public reactions to people, policies and events has an obvious utility for politicians seeking office. Nick Anstead (LSE) co-author with Mike Jensen (University of Canberra) of a paper “Psephological investigations: Tweets, votes, and unknown unknowns in the republican nomination process” published in Policy and Internet discusses how useful these techniques are for predicting election results, and how they might be reimagined in the future.

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Presenting the moral imperative: effective storytelling strategies by online campaigning organisations

There has been an international growth in online campaigning organizations that engage in public policy debate and mobilize citizens. Ariadne Vromen (University of Sydney), co-author with William Coleman of the paper Online Campaigning Organizations and Storytelling Strategies: GetUp! in Australia published in Policy and Internet, analyses how these organizations promote an innovative approach to storytelling and discursive politics, and how these stories are used to help citizens and decision makers identify with an issue, build community, and act in recognition of the moral urgency for political change.

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