2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Saturday, July 29 • 11:01 - 12:30
Identifying Political Topics In Social Media Messages: A Lexicon-Based Approach [FULL]

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Authors: Sam Jackson, Feifei Zhang, Olga Boichak, Lauren Bryant, Yingya Li, Jeff Hemsley, Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Bryan Semaan and Nancy McCracken

Abstract: In this paper, we introduce a lexicon-based method for identifying political topics in social media messages. After discussing several critical shortcomings of unsupervised topic identification, we describe the lexicon-based approach. We test our lexicon on candidate-generated campaign messages in Facebook and Twitter in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The results show that this approach provides reliable results for eight of nine political topic categories. We describe steps to improve our approach and how it can be used for future research on political topics in social media messages.

Saturday July 29, 2017 11:01 - 12:30 EDT
TRS 1-147 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9