Communication dynamics in twitter during political campaigns: The case of the 2011 Spanish national election


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ISBN: 1944-2866

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Type of work: Communication




15m, twitter


The irruption of social media in the political sphere is generating repositories of “Big Data,” which can be mined to gain insights into communication dynamics. The research reported here relies on a large data set from Twitter to examine the activity, emotional content, and interactions of political parties and politicians during the campaign for the Spanish national elections in November 2011. The aim of this study is to investigate the adaptation of political parties to this new communication and organizational paradigm originating in the evolution of the Internet and online social networks. We analyze the reply and retweet networks of seven political parties with significant offline differences to assess their conversation and information diffusion patterns. We observe that political parties, and especially the major traditional parties, still tend to use Twitter just as a one-way flow communication tool. Moreover, we find evidence of a balkanization trend in the Spanish online political sphere, as observed in previous research for other countries.