Researching with Twitter timeline data: A demonstration via "everyday" socio-political talk around welfare provision



Brooker, Phillip ORCID: 0000-0003-1189-4647, Barnett, Julie, Vines, John, Lawson, Shaun, Feltwell, Tom, Long, Kiel and Wood, Gavin
(2018) Researching with Twitter timeline data: A demonstration via "everyday" socio-political talk around welfare provision. BIG DATA & SOCIETY, 5 (1). p. 205395171876662.

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Abstract

<jats:p> Increasingly, social media platforms are understood by researchers to be valuable sites of politically-relevant discussions. However, analyses of social media data are typically undertaken by focusing on ‘snapshots’ of issues using query-keyword search strategies. This paper develops an alternative, less issue-based, mode of analysing Twitter data. It provides a framework for working qualitatively with longitudinally-oriented Twitter data (user-timelines), and uses an empirical case to consider the value and the challenges of doing so. Exploring how Twitter users place “everyday” talk around the socio-political issue of UK welfare provision, we draw on digital ethnography and narrative analysis techniques to analyse 25 user-timelines and identify three distinctions in users’ practices: users’ engagements with welfare as TV entertainment or as a socio-political concern; the degree of sustained engagement with said issues, and; the degree to which users’ tweeting practices around welfare were congruent with or in contrast to their other tweets. With this analytic orientation, we demonstrate how a longitudinal analysis of user-timelines provides rich resources that facilitate a more nuanced understanding of user engagement in everyday socio-political discussions online. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social media analytics, digital methods, digital ethnography, narrative analysis, socio-political issues, social welfare
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:38
DOI: 10.1177/2053951718766624
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3019203