Coproduction or cooptation? Real-time spin and social media response during the 2012 French and US presidential debates
- 211 Downloads
Major political events now unfold in a hybrid political information cycle: even as millions of citizens tune in to television broadcasts, many also comment – and receive others’ comments – over social media. In previous research, we have described how biobehavioral cues spur Twitter discussion of candidates during American presidential debates. Here we extend that research to also account for other elements of the communication environment – in particular, messages from political and media elites reaching them via a ‘second screen’ such as mobile phone or tablet – and we apply our analyses to debates in both the United States and France. Specifically, we examine the relationship between the Twitter posts of 300 politicians, organizations and media figures from each country and the relevant messages of the larger Twitterverse during the debates. Our findings reveal commonalities in social media response in the two countries, particularly the powerful role of party figures and pundits in spurring social media posting. We also note differences between the social media cultures of the two countries, including the finding that French elites commanded relatively more attention (in the form of retweets) than their American counterparts. Implications for debate evaluations and online expression are discussed.
Keywordssocial media Twitter debate second screen
The authors wish to express their thanks to Dr Axel Meireder for help assembling the list in the French case, and Stephanie D. Lassen for help with coding the French debate. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government NRF-2013S1A3A2055285.
- Bailly, P. (2012) Audience, profil, TF1, France 2: quelques leçons du débat Hollande/Sarkozy, http://blog.lefigaro.fr/philippe-bailly/2012/05/audience-profil-tf1-france-2-quelques-lecons-du-debat-hollande-sarkozy.html, accessed 3 May.
- Calderone, M. (2012) For 2012 Presidential debates, campaigns speed up the spin, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/2012-presidential-debates-spin-room_n_1929185.html, accessed 1 October.
- Castells, M. (1996) The Rise of the Network Society. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
- Castells, M. (2009) Communication Power. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Chadwick, A. (2010) Britain’s first live televised party leaders’ debate: From the news cycle to the political information cycle. Parliamentary Affairs 64 (1): 1–21.Google Scholar
- CNN. (2012) The second presidential debate drinking game, http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/10/politics/debate-drinking-game/index.html, accessed 22 June 2015.
- Cockerell, M. (2010) Why leaders have never debated on TV. BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8612153.stm, accessed 10 April.
- Dayan, D. and Katz, E. (1992) Media Events. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Driscoll, K. et al (2013) Big Bird, Binders, and Bayonets: Humor and live-tweeting during the 2012 U.S. Presidential Debates. Selected Papers of Internet Research, 3(0), http://spir.aoir.org/index.php/spir/article/view/736.
- Duggan, M. and Brenner, J. (2013) The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012. Washington DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
- Hanna, A., Wells, C., Maurer, P., Friedland, L., Shah, D. and Matthes, J. (2013) Partisan Alignments and Political Polarization Online: A Computational Approach to Understanding the French and US Presidential Elections. Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Politics, Elections and Data. pp. 15–22. ACM, http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2508438.
- Hindman, M. (2009) The Myth of Digital Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Howard, P.N. (2006) New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- IFOP. (2012) L’observatoire des réseaux sociaux 7, http://www.ifop.com/media/poll/2050-1-study_file.pdf, accessed 13 December 2013.
- Jenkins, H. (2006) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Kreiss, D. (2014) Seizing the moment: The presidential campaigns’ use of Twitter during the 2012 electoral cycle. New Media & Society, http://doi.org/10.1177/1461444814562445.
- Lazarsfeld, P.F., Berelson, B. and Gaudet, H. (1948) The People’s Choice: How the Voter Makes up his Mind in a Presidential Campaign. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Lilleker, D. and Jackson, N. (2013) Political Campaigning, Elections and the Internet: Comparing the US, UK, France and Germany. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Maarek, P. (ed.) (2009) Introduction. La victoire de la démocratie representative sur la démocratie participative. In: La communication politique de la présidentielle de 2007. Participation ou représentation? Paris, France: L’Harmattan, pp. 5–15.Google Scholar
- Margolis, M. and Resnick, D. (2000) Politics as Usual: The Cyberspace ‘Revolution’. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Mercier, A. and Pignard-Cheynel, N. (2012) Enquête sur les usages des réseaux sociaux par les journalistes français, http://obsweb.net/blog/2012/05/14/enquete-sur-les-usages-des-reseaux-sociaux-par-les-journalistes-francais/, accessed 1 September 2015.
- Morstatter, F., Pfeffer, J., Liu, H. and Carley, K.M. (2013) Is the Sample Good Enough? Comparing Data from Twitter’s Streaming API with Twitter’s Firehose. International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media; pp. 400–408, AAAI, http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.5204.
- Papacharissi, Z.A. (2010) A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
- Riutort, P. (2007) Sociologie de la communication politique. Paris, France: Éditions de la Découverte.Google Scholar
- Schudson, M. (1998) The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life. New York: Martin Kessler Books.Google Scholar
- Shah, D.V. et al (forthcoming) Dual screening during presidential debates: Political nonverbal and volume and valence of online expression. American Behavioral Scientist, in press.Google Scholar
- Shah, D.V., Hanna, A., Bucy, E.P., Wells, C. and Quevedo, V. (2015) The power of television images in a social sedia age: Linking biobehavioral and computational approaches via the second screen. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 659 (1): 225–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sharp, A. (2012a) Dispatch from the Denver debate. Twitter blogs, http://blog.twitter.com, accessed 4 October.
- Sharp, A. (2012b) The final 2012 presidential debate. Twitter blogs, http://blog.twitter.com, accessed 23 October.
- Stelter, B. (2012) Presidential debate drew more than 70 million viewers, http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/presidential-debate-drew-more-than-70-million-viewers/, accessed 4 October.
- Tarde, G.de (1903) The Laws of Imitation. New York: Henry Hold.Google Scholar
- Turkle, S. (2012) Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Vaccari, C. (2013) Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study. Baltimore, MD: JHU Press.Google Scholar
- Wu, S., Hofman, J.M., Mason, W.A. and Watts, D.J. (2011) Who Says What to Whom on Twitter. Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on World Wide Web. New York: ACM, pp. 705–714, http://doi.org/10.1145/1963405.1963504.