How do electoral actors use social media during an election?

Possible for:
Election Monitoring
How are electoral actors using social media during elections? What key topics are they talking about? If you come from an election observation background, you may be most interested in these key actors. Although, we recommend that you also look at the unofficial accounts discussing the elections as well to get a full view. To complement this actor-based approach, we recommend using a keyword based approach by monitoring the key topics during your election.

1. Sample selection

  • Create a list of relevant electoral actors (i.e. politicians, parties, media, influencers)

2. Gather data

  • Gather posts from your selected accounts over a selected time period.

3. Classify data (if you have time)

  • Label each post based on the topic discussed (e.g. immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, voter fraud)
    • You should create a "codebook" of topics prior to beginning your labelling. Based on this codebook, your data analysts can classify each post. Make sure to include this codebook in the appendix of your report for transparency purposes.
  • Tip: If you are monitoring media outlets, label the gender of politician mentioned in all captures posts to understand if male and female candidates are equally represented.

4. Analyze data

  • Which actor was the most active in terms of posts?
  • Which actor received the most interaction from citizens?
  • Which topics were the most important during the election?
  • Which topics were covered by official versus unofficial media pages?
Tip: Find unofficial actors by searching for the most active accounts discussing the election through a keyword search

See some helpful examples from our partners:

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