The second stop of my upcoming US trip will be Chicago. There on October 30, I will give an invited talk at the Department of Communication of the University of Illinois at Chicago. I will talk about the use of Twitter during one of the most contentious protests in Germany’s recent past, the protests against the infrastructure project Stuttgart 21. The talk is based on two papers I have written with Pascal Jürgens.
Andreas Jungherr, and Pascal Jürgens. 2013. “Through a glass, darkly: tactical support and symbolic association in Twitter messages commenting on Stuttgart 21.” Social Science Computer Review (Online First).
Andreas Jungherr and Pascal Jürgens. forthcoming. “Stuttgart’s Black Thursday on Twitter: Mapping Political Protests with Social Media Data.” In Analyzing Social Media Data and Web Networks: New Methods for Political Science, ed. Rachel Gibson, Marta Cantijoch, and Stephen Ward. New York, NY u.a.: Palgrave Macmillan. [Preprint]
Here is the abstract for the talk:
Through a glass, darkly: Tactical support and symbolic association in Twitter messages commenting on Stuttgart 21.
Political actors increasingly use the microblogging service, Twitter, for the organization, coordination, and documentation of collective action. These interactions with Twitter leave digital artifacts that can be analyzed. In this article, we look at Twitter messages commenting on one of the most contentious protests in Germany’s recent history, the protests against the infrastructure project Stuttgart 21. We analyze all messages containing the hashtag #s21 that were posted between May 25, 2010, and November 14, 2010, by the 80,000 most followed Twitter users in Germany. We do this to answer three questions: First, what distinguishes events that resulted in high activity on Twitter from events that did not? Second, during times of high activity, does the behavior of Twitter users vary from their usual behavior patterns? Third, were the artifacts (retweets, links) that dominated conversations during times of high activity indicative of tactical support of the protests or of symbolic association with it?