MPs and Audiences on Social Media During Emergencies: Automatic and Manual Content Analyses of Facebook Posts

Abstract : The social media channels of the members of parliament (MPs) are significant arenas through which communication between the public and national leaders occurs. This is the first paper to explore how these channels function during emergencies. We present findings from a mixed-method study of automatic and manual content analysis of a unique dataset of all posts in Israeli MPs’ Facebook pages during the 19th Israeli parliament. We compare the scope of posting, engagement with posts, and the content in MPs’ Facebook pages during “ordinary” periods and an “emergency” period, focusing on the 2014 Israel/Gaza war. Findings present MPs’ social media pages as key hubs of information and interaction between MPs and audiences in emergencies, even more so than during ordinary periods. MPs’ social media pages involve significantly more posts, and engagement with posts, during emergencies, and the content in them becomes more emotional, less personal and focused on the emergency situation and the national leaders responding to it.
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Nili Steinfeld, Azi Lev-On. MPs and Audiences on Social Media During Emergencies: Automatic and Manual Content Analyses of Facebook Posts. 10th International Conference on Electronic Participation (ePart), Sep 2018, Krems, Austria. pp.39-50, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-98578-7_4⟩. ⟨hal-01985610⟩

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