Examining the Interaction Between Fourth Estate and Twitter: An Exploratory Case Study

Balbir Singh Barn, Ravinder Barn, Franco Raimondi, Utsa Mukherjee

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The pervasiveness of social media has resulted in increased public involvement in key discussions about social issues, as well as creating greater affordances for individual expression and collective mobilisation. In December 2012, the rape and murder of a 23-year-old Indian student in New Delhi, India, was followed by widespread condemnation and public action organised and coordinated through social media (Barn 2013). In March 2015, a controversial BBC documentary, “India’s Daughter”, about the incident was broadcast despite restrictions imposed by the Indian Government. This paper explores the interplay between mainstream media (the so-called Fourth Estate) and Twitter through a case study analysis using computational techniques to analyse 250000 tweets collated following the broadcast of the documentary. In particular, we apply the theory of postcolonialism to understand the dynamics of this interaction. Issues around implications for conducting inter-disciplinary social media research are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe Third International Conference on Human and Social Analytics -
Duration: 23 Aug 201727 Aug 2017


ConferenceThe Third International Conference on Human and Social Analytics
Abbreviated titleHUSO


  • social media, twitter

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