Different News for Different Views: Political News-sharing Communities on Social Media Through the UK General Election in 2015

Different News for Different Views: Political News-sharing Communities on Social Media Through the UK General Election in 2015

Talk given at The First International Workshop on News Public Opinion (NECO). Cologne, Germany. 17 May 2016.

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Matt J Williams

May 17, 2016
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Transcript

  1. The First International Workshop on News and Public Opinion 17

    May 2016 Cologne, Germany Different News for Different Views Political News-sharing Communities on Social Media Through the UK General Election in 2015 Matt J. Williams Biosciences University of Exeter Iulia Cioroianu Politics University of Exeter Hywel T. P. Williams Biosciences University of Exeter @voxmjw
  2. UK General Election 2015 7th May

  3. public opinion influenced by media exposure

  4. 2005 An evolving media environment... 2010 2015 5.4M* 7M UK

    15M UK 28M UK UK’s first ‘social media election’ 31M UK The ‘hashtag election’ – Mark Frankel, BBC, A.Ed. of Social News
  5. Traditional (‘Legacy’) media editorial bias + media exposure influence public

    political opinion →
  6. Social Media Exposure ‘Legacy’ Media Exposure Sources: Multiple online platforms

    Each platform 10s-100s of connections Communication exposure [share + re-share] Inherently networked Hard to audit? Bias: Bias and exposure are an emergent property Diverge range of exposure profiles throughout network Sources: <= 10 sources? Selected by reader Easy(ish) to audit Bias: Selection bias Editorial bias print, digital news, radio, television, ... Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, ... ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Williams (2015) Glob. Env. Change, 32, 126-138
  7. Climate change activists vs skeptics Williams (2015) Glob. Env. Change,

    32, 126-138 Twitter climate change followers network Social media utopia? open marketplace for ideas; global debate and consensus Social media dystopia? filter bubbles; echo chambers; segregation; polarisation
  8. This study... Exploring political news exposure and the interaction between

    news and social media during the UK general election Datasets... Tools... Election news content: 14k articles; 17 UK newspapers Social media [Twitter]: 87k tweets; 52k users; 11k hashtags Automated content analysis Network analysis How did GE discussion evolve in news media and social media? What GE-focused news-sharing communities exist? What are their idealogical biases? How does their media exposure differ? Questions... Ongoing work Better/bigger data! Genpop exposure vs politicians’ exposure
  9. Dataset: News articles 21 topics moderate right moderate left centre

    6 political party topics 15 issue topics NHS(Health) Tax&Spend Polls Debates Housing London Coalition EU Business Regions Schools Benefits Media Economy Donations 17 national and local papers 13,551 election news articles 22 Mar – 17 May
  10. Task: Identifying election-related news articles LexisNexis News Articles Database All

    articles across 17 UK newspapers over 4 months (100k-450k articles) Human coding 11,000 article training set. Articles classified as GE and not-GE. ~10 human annotators Supervised classifier (SVM) Cross-validation: F-score = 0.95 13,551 articles classified as General Election related
  11. GE news articles corpus Topic modelling (latent Dirichlet allocation) 13,551

    election-related news articles each article gets tagged with mixture of 30 topics... 9x non-election topics [discarded] 6x political party topics found 15x issue topics found topic weight UKIP Tax & Spend EU NHS ... Task: Identifying election-related topics
  12. Task: Identifying election-related topics

  13. Dataset: Social media Over study period 22 Mar – 17

    May 86,939 tweets 52,299 users 10,529 hashtags 2,349 domains shared GE-focused tweets, filtered by identifying GE-related hashtags ...of which 15,152 users tweeted one or more URL a proxy for the topics discussed by Twitter users a proxy for the content sources tweeted by Twitter users; e.g., guardian.com
  14. #ge2015 #generalelection2015 #battlefornumber10 #leadersdebate #bbcdebate #bbcqt #scotdebates #scotdebate #walesdebate #walesdebates

    #conservative #labour #libdems #ukip #greens #snp #plaid15 #dup #sdlp #respectparty Archive.org Twitter Stream Grab (1% global spritzer feed) March-May 2015 267 million tweets worldwide 86,939 tweets related to the UK general election [22 Mar – 17 May] http://gu.com/p/48866 http://www.theguardian.com/ politics/2015/may/08/ukip- frustrated-share-vote-fails- translate-seats theguardian.com URL to domain resolution
  15. Twitter trends over time Election day Thu 7 May ‘Battle

    for Number 10’ Two party leaders Q&A Thu 26 Mar ITV Leader’s Debate Thu 2 Apr BBC Opposition Leaders’ Debate Thu 16 Apr BBC Question Time Election Leaders Special Two party leaders Q&A Thu 30 Apr
  16. trending Twitter hashtags

  17. Twitter hashtags Tweet volume News topics

  18. Temporal correlation between hashtags and topics large circle = significant

    at 0.01 threshold red = positive correlation (hashtag and topic trend together)
  19. News-sharing networks theguardian.com dailymail.co.uk huffingtonpost.co.uk

  20. Shared-audience networks www.theguardian.com www.dailymail.co.uk www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

  21. www.theguardian.com www.dailymail.co.uk www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

  22. Shared audience network 2,349 nodes (domains) 17,855 edges (shared audience

    connections)
  23. 5 3 0 4 8 2 7 10 9 6

    1 Shared audience communities Node = domain e.g., guardian.com Edge = shared Twitter audience Community detection via Louvain algorithm Modularity score Q = 0.283 Node colour = community (intra-community edges not depicted)
  24. 5 3 0 4 8 2 7 10 9 6

    1 join.labour.org.uk donation.labour.org.uk shop.labour.org.uk press.labour.org.uk conservatives.com myukip.com ukipbarnet.org wokinghamukip.org.uk my.greenparty.org.uk action.greenparty.org.uk greenparty.org.uk my.snp.org snp.org snp.org votesnp.com libdems.org.uk scotlibdems.org.uk political party websites moderate right moderate left centre
  25. 5 3 0 4 8 2 7 10 9 6

    1 join.labour.org.uk donation.labour.org.uk shop.labour.org.uk press.labour.org.uk conservatives.com myukip.com ukipbarnet.org wokinghamukip.org.uk my.greenparty.org.uk action.greenparty.org.uk greenparty.org.uk my.snp.org snp.org snp.org votesnp.com libdems.org.uk scotlibdems.org.uk newspapers (17x selected for study) telegraph.co.uk dailymail.co.uk theguardian.com ft.com blogs.ft.com elections.ft.com thetimes.co.uk extras.thetimes.co.uk independent.co.uk indy100.independent.co.uk mirror.co.uk express.co.uk thesun.co.uk dailystar.co.uk dailyrecord.co.uk standard.co.uk scotsman.com yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk walesonline.co.uk southwales-eveningpost.co.uk moderate right moderate left centre
  26. Community 1 Includes: The Daily Mail, The Daily Star, The

    Express, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Times and Western Morning News Community 4 Includes: Western Mail and Yorkshire Evening Post expressandstar.com order-order.com thunderclap.it express.co.uk thetimes.co.uk dailymail.co.uk electmps-ukip.nationbuilder.com ukip.trendolizer.com conservatives.com countryside-alliance.org leicestermercury.co.uk pensions-insight.co.uk join.ukip.org linkis.com breitbart.com yougov.co.uk westernmorningnews.co.uk cambridge-news.co.uk ukip.org unilad.co.uk nopenothope.blogspot.co.uk yorkshirepost.co.uk blogs.spectator.co.uk telegraph.co.uk thecourier.co.uk thesun.co.uk ukipnw.org.uk labour25.com coventrytelegraph.net itv.com southwalesguardian.co.uk news.channel4.com ebay.co.uk supportchaz.weebly.com plaid.cymru fivethirtyeight.com partyof.wales walesonline.co.uk aberystwythvoice.wordpress.com facebook.com Community 2 Includes: The Daily Mirror and The Independent Community 5 Includes: The Evening Standard labourlist.org channel4.com ipsos-mori.com press.labour.org.uk action.makeseatsmatchvotes.org tompride.wordpress.com bbc.co.uk theconversation.com standard.co.uk news.sky.com thisislocallondon.co.uk cnduk.org politicshome.com thenational.scot vine.co parliament.uk ssl.bbc.co.uk theyvoted.org getbucks.co.uk chroniclelive.co.uk kittysjones.wordpress.com shop.labour.org.uk conservatives.com myukip.com ukipbarnet.org wokinghamukip.org.uk telegraph.co.uk dailymail.co.uk thetimes.co.uk extras.thetimes.co.uk express.co.uk thesun.co.uk dailystar.co.uk Only high-degree nodes are depicted Tax and spend Coalition Benefits Polls Debates EU Media Regions Donations Schools Business Housing Economy London NHS Conservatives SNP UKIP Lib Dems Labour Greens 3 5 7 10 12 1 2 3 4 5 Center is at .6111 news topic proportions (LDA on newspaper news articles)
  27. mobile.snp.org Community 3 Includes: The Guardian and The Scotsman Community

    7 cityam.com politics.co.uk atrueindependentscotland.com indiegogo.com jrf.org.uk leftfootforward.org scotsman.com realukip.tumblr.com huffingtonpost.co.uk disabilitynewsservice.com amp.twimg.com indy100.independent.co.uk libdems.org.uk england.shelter.org.uk theguardian.com morningstaronline.co.uk weourselves.com hopenothate.org.uk scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk benefitsandwork.co.uk buzzfeed.com blogs.lse.ac.uk markpack.org.uk may2015.com gov.uk newstatesman.com sunnation.co.uk scoop voxpo foe.co.uk pape liverpoolec infowars.com action.greenparty.org.uk tweetedtime my.greenparty.org.uk youtube.com exaronews.com livestream.co realnewsuk.com rt.com greenparty.org.uk you.38degrees.org.uk i.instagram.com google.co.uk homesforbritai change.org harriety.blogsp crowdfunder.co.uk 1 Only high-degree nodes are depicted join.labour.org.uk donation.labour.org.uk libdems.org.uk theguardian.com indy100.independent.co.uk scotsman.com Tax and spend Coalition Benefits Polls Debates EU Media Regions Donations Schools Business Housing Economy London NHS Conservatives SNP UKIP Lib Dems Labour Greens 3 5 7 10 12 1 2 3 4 5 Center is at .6111 news topic proportions (LDA on newspaper news articles)
  28. thecourier.co.uk Community 2 Includes: The Daily Mirror and The Independent

    Community 5 Includes: The Evening Standard birdops.com labourlist.org channel4.com ipsos-mori.com press.labour.org.uk g.rippedoffbritons.com ction.makeseatsmatchvotes.org tompride.wordpress.com scottishlabour.org.uk ifs.org.uk independent.co.uk scottishconstructionnow.com blogs.channel4.com mirror.co.uk newsshaft.com news.stv.tv bbc.co.uk wingsoverscotland.com bellacaledonia.org.uk bbc.com snp.org theconversation.com standard.co.uk ukok.pag news.sky.com thisislocallondon.co.uk mobile.snp.org cnduk.org lallandspeatworrier.blog politicshom stori ntn.al my.snp.org thenational.scot vine.co parliament.uk gatestoneinstitute.org ssl.bbc.co.uk 35percent.org theyvoted.org getbucks.co.uk pressandjournal.co.uk shetnews.co.uk libd chroniclelive.c lavanguardia.com twitter.com gerryhassan.com kittysjones.wordpress.com Community 3 Includes: The Guardian and The Scotsman Community 7 cityam.com atrueindependentscotland.com disabilitynewsservice.com amp.twimg.com indy100.independent.co.uk libdems.org.uk morningstaronline.co.uk weourselves.com blogs.lse.ac.uk markpack.org.uk may2015.com gov.uk newstatesman.com sunnation.co.uk voxpopgov.com foe.co.uk liverpoolecho.co.uk action.greenparty.org.uk exaronews.com livestream.com i.instagram.com homesforbritain.org.uk redpe change.org crowdfunder.co.uk Only high-degree nodes are depicted independent.co.uk mirror.co.uk press.labour.org.uk votesnp.com Tax and spend Coalition Benefits Polls Debates EU Media Regions Donations Schools Business Housing Economy London NHS Conservatives SNP UKIP Lib Dems Labour Greens 3 5 7 10 12 1 2 3 4 5 Center is at .6111 news topic proportions (LDA on newspaper news articles)
  29. bbc.com Community 7 manchestereveningnews.co.uk scoop.it voxpopgov.com foe.co.uk paper.li liverpoolecho.co.uk infowars.com

    action.greenparty.org.uk tweetedtimes.com my.greenparty.org.uk youtube.com exaronews.com livestream.com realnewsuk.com rt.com greenparty.org.uk you.38degrees.org.uk i.instagram.com google.co.uk homesforbritain.org.uk redpepper.org.uk change.org harriety.blogspot.co.uk crowdfunder.co.uk my.greenparty.org.uk action.greenparty.org.uk greenparty.org.uk Only high-degree nodes are depicted -
  30. 5 3 0 4 8 2 7 10 9 6

    1 join.labour.org.uk donation.labour.org.uk shop.labour.org.uk press.labour.org.uk conservatives.com myukip.com ukipbarnet.org wokinghamukip.org.uk my.greenparty.org.uk action.greenparty.org.uk greenparty.org.uk my.snp.org snp.org snp.org votesnp.com libdems.org.uk scotlibdems.org.uk newspapers (17x selected for study) telegraph.co.uk dailymail.co.uk theguardian.com ft.com blogs.ft.com elections.ft.com thetimes.co.uk extras.thetimes.co.uk independent.co.uk indy100.independent.co.uk mirror.co.uk express.co.uk thesun.co.uk dailystar.co.uk dailyrecord.co.uk standard.co.uk scotsman.com yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk walesonline.co.uk southwales-eveningpost.co.uk
  31. Summary & Ongoing Work • Social media → communication exposure

    → network effects • Shared audience communities... ...relate to party ideologies ...relate to newspaper ideologies ...reveal biased issue topics • Missing link: domain to user exposure? Ongoing work.. • GNIP data on GE2015 • MP candidates’ tweets
  32. The next evolution...? 2005 2010 2015 5.5M* 7M UK 15M

    UK 28M UK UK’s first ‘social media election’ 31M UK The ‘hashtag election’ – Mark Frankel, BBC, A.Ed. of Social News 2020 ? ?
  33. Media exposure is known to affect political opinions – this

    is why powerful individuals buy newspapers and exert editorial bias...
  34. Network bias in social media is different – harder to

    spot, not controlled by single individual, unpredictable...democratic? Difficult to buy influence when bias and exposure are emergent properties of a complex, interconnected, networked system?
  35. Different news for different views: Political news-sharing communities on social

    media through the UK General Election in 2015 (at NECO 2016) Thanks for listening! Matthew J. Williams University of Exeter m.williams3@exeter.ac.uk http://www.mattjw.net @voxmjw Iulia Cioroianu University of Exeter www.iuliacioroianu.info Hywel T.P. Williams University of Exeter @HywelTPWilliams ExpoNetMeasuring information exposure in dynamic and dependent networks