What are we missing? An empirical exploration in the structural biases of hashtag-based sampling on Twitter

D'heer, E., Vandersmissen, B., De Neve, W., Verdegem, P. and Van de Walle, R. (2017) What are we missing? An empirical exploration in the structural biases of hashtag-based sampling on Twitter. First Monday, 22 (2). ISSN First Monday

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i2

Abstract

The hashtag is a recognized and often used method to collect Twitter messages. However, it has its limits with respect to the inclusion of follow-messages, or @replies, that do not contain a hashtag. This paper explored to what extent the inclusion of non-hashtagged responses affected the study of interactions between Twitter users. We drew from the Twitter debate on the 2014 Belgian elections, collected under the #vk2014 hashtag. Our dataset included non-hashtagged responses to assess (1) how they differ from hashtagged responses; and, (2) how this affects the conversation network. The findings showed that (1) hashtagged responses were more likely to include other interactive elements (e.g., hyperlinks); and, (2) the inclusion of non-hashtagged responses generated larger and more reciprocal networks. However, central users further strengthened their position in the network.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design
SWORD Depositor: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Depositing User: repository@westminster.ac.uk
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 14:10
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2017 14:10
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/18389

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