Twitter, Public Engagement and the Eurocrisis: More than an Echo Chamber?
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Drawing on the concepts of echo and refraction, this chapter zooms in on the role of digital media in crisis communication and the conditions under which social media can spearhead a shift in public communication dynamics. The empirical analysis presented here offers a qualitative profiling of the mini Twittersphere concerning the Greek referendum (Greferendum) that took place in July 2015. Which contributors have the highest visibility and what type of content do they produce? Which sources are favoured in retweets? On which aspects of the Greferendum did the Twittersphere focus? The findings are used to further the discussion regarding the impact of social media on the European public sphere’s capacity to nurture democratic debate.
KeywordsEU Crisis communication #Greferendum Twitter Echo chambers Refraction Democratic debate
The research presented in this chapter is part of the EURODIV research project, carried out at the ARENA Centre for European Studies under the project leadership of Professor Erik Oddvar Eriksen. The funding of the project by the Research Council of Norway is gratefully acknowledged. Many thanks go to Tor Kristian Haldorsen, research assistant at ARENA, who very efficiently tested the coding schedules and subsequently processed large parts of the Eurocrisis Twittersphere data.
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