Institute for Web Science and Technologies · Universität Koblenz - Landau
Institute WeST

The Social Media Audience of Diplomatic Conflict in Foreign Policy: History, Politics, and Domestic Polarization

[zur Übersicht]
Oul Han

We examine communities of Twitter users interested in particular foreign countries and explore how these communities respond to diplomatic events with the country. The online audience on social media cultivate their own communities of sentiments and ideas, but also react to international and domestic political events. The interest toward a specific country can have various contents, for example cultural, political or economic. By observing these communities during critical time windows, we can learn which audiences react to events, given the interests and the pre-event sentiment to the country. Using a corpus of tweets for a two-year period on serious trade and diplomatic conflicts, from Japan and Korea, we investigate the community of users who represent the political positions in the online space and what they focus on in Tweets in response to diplomatic events. The detection of user communities from retweet patterns reveals the different structures of communities, due partly to the ideological stances of the government. The content analysis of tweets, focusing on historical emphasis and sentiment polarity, uncovers community-specific ways of responding to current political events. For instance, communities with aligned ideology with the current government tend to interpret the event through historical focus as they share the historical perspectives with the government. We conclude that the focus on online communication offers the benefit of linking domestic political positions to sentiments towards international relations.

Video of the talk

06.08.20 - 10:15
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