2004
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2665-9085
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9085

Abstract

Abstract

Politicians use social media platforms such as Twitter to connect with the public. However, it remains largely unknown who constitutes the public sphere to whom politicians actually connect, talk, and listen. Focusing on the Twitter network of all Swiss MPs, I identified 129,063 Twitter users with whom politicians connected (i.e., their follower–followee network) or with whom they interacted (e.g., [were] replied to or retweeted). I qualitatively analyzed top connected, talking, and listening MPs, and conducted a semi-automated content analysis of the Twitter users to classify them (N = 70.589). Politicians’ audience consists primarily of ordinary citizens, who also react most often to the politicians’ messages. However, politicians listen more often to actors close to politics and the media than to ordinary citizens. Thus, politicians navigate between engaging with everyone without losing control over the communication situation and address key multipliers such journalist to get their messages out.

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2020-10-01
2021-11-30
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