What Can Congress’s Twitter Use Teach Us About Framing and Polarization?
Social media offers politicians an opportunity to bypass traditional media and directly influence their audience’s opinions and behavior through issue framing. I examine how members of the U.S. Congress use Twitter to accomplish framing and explore the effects of their behavior on mainstream media coverage. Social media also offers researchers trace data for detecting topic communities and political polarization that would otherwise not be revealed until legislative votes take place. I will discuss how my colleagues and I used politicians’ social media behavior, especially the affiliation networks that result from their hashtag use, to create new measures of political polarization that make it possible for us to gauge polarization throughout the legislative process.
About Libby Hemphill
Libby (PhD, University of Michigan) directs the CaSM Lab. She is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Information Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Libby is broadly interested in computer-mediated communication, social media, digital humanities, and organizational behavior.