10.2 Barbera (2015): Birds of the Same Feather Tweet Together
Q: Whats the topic of this study?
Barberá (2015): Birds of the same feather tweet together: Bayesian ideal point estimation using Twitter data
- What is the research question?
- General: Is the structure of the social networks in which people are embedded a source of information about their ideological positions?
- Specific: Can we predict ideology from follower networks on twitter?
- What is the hypothesis?
- Yes we can vs. no we can’t.
- What data do they use?
- Twitter users and the network among them (who follows whom)
- Sample size: n = 301,537 users in the United States, n = 135,015 in the UK, n = 123,846 in Spain, n = 150,143 in Italy, n = 49,142 in Germany, and n = 96,624 in the Netherlands
- What is their finding?
- Estimated positions of legislators and political parties replicate conventional measures of ideology
- Method is also able to successfully classify individuals who state their political preferences publicly and a sample of users matched with their party registration records
- Useful to examine ideological clustering in 2012 US presidential election campaign
Q: What struck you about this study? What did you find interesting?
Insight: Using a new data source to learn about a classic topic
Barberá, P. 2015. “Birds of the Same Feather Tweet Together: Bayesian Ideal Point Estimation Using Twitter Data.” Polit. Anal. cambridge.org.