Twitter and Global Political Crises : Cycles of Insecurity in #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria. / O'Loughlin, Ben; Vaccari, Cristian; Aslan, Billur; Dennis, James.

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Vol. 10, No. 2-3, 03.08.2017, p. 175-203.

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Twitter and Global Political Crises : Cycles of Insecurity in #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria. / O'Loughlin, Ben; Vaccari, Cristian; Aslan, Billur; Dennis, James.

In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Vol. 10, No. 2-3, 03.08.2017, p. 175-203.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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O'Loughlin, Ben ; Vaccari, Cristian ; Aslan, Billur ; Dennis, James. / Twitter and Global Political Crises : Cycles of Insecurity in #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria. In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication. 2017 ; Vol. 10, No. 2-3. pp. 175-203.

BibTeX

@article{3afe1f86952e476684456de7dae7aca5,
title = "Twitter and Global Political Crises: Cycles of Insecurity in #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria",
abstract = "This study examines social media responses to the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks by the Islamic State. First impressions of over 2,000,000 tweets containing hashtags #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria suggested a conflation of three issues: (1) Migration: were the attackers homegrown or carrying overseas passports? (2) Violence: why was Paris attacked and why is France bombing the Islamic State? (3) Media: what role should mainstream and social media play during events that are local and global, unique and yet part of a series? However, instead of conflating media, migration and terrorism, we found users of both hashtags discussing Syria, foreign policy, and justice and fairness. Building on previous research exploring how social media affordances encourage certain communication behaviors, we test whether Twitter{\textquoteright}s reply function is more conducive to antagonistic comments than retweets, which we hypothesise allow for an expression of solidarity and universalism. Conversations about Syria contain greater antagonism, explained by aspects of the tweet, user and network effects. The #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria conversations exhibit neither the contestation of global attention nor a media-driven cycle of insecurity. The high frequency of agonistic and non-visual tweets, particularly about Syria, suggests a robust exchange of claims, refuting pessimistic depictions of Twitter as a space for superficiality and hate.",
keywords = "public sphere, terrorism, foreign policy, Syria, Twitter, social media",
author = "Ben O'Loughlin and Cristian Vaccari and Billur Aslan and James Dennis",
year = "2017",
month = aug,
day = "3",
doi = "10.1163/18739865-01002006",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "175--203",
journal = "Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication",
issn = "1873-9857",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "2-3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Twitter and Global Political Crises

T2 - Cycles of Insecurity in #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria

AU - O'Loughlin, Ben

AU - Vaccari, Cristian

AU - Aslan, Billur

AU - Dennis, James

PY - 2017/8/3

Y1 - 2017/8/3

N2 - This study examines social media responses to the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks by the Islamic State. First impressions of over 2,000,000 tweets containing hashtags #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria suggested a conflation of three issues: (1) Migration: were the attackers homegrown or carrying overseas passports? (2) Violence: why was Paris attacked and why is France bombing the Islamic State? (3) Media: what role should mainstream and social media play during events that are local and global, unique and yet part of a series? However, instead of conflating media, migration and terrorism, we found users of both hashtags discussing Syria, foreign policy, and justice and fairness. Building on previous research exploring how social media affordances encourage certain communication behaviors, we test whether Twitter’s reply function is more conducive to antagonistic comments than retweets, which we hypothesise allow for an expression of solidarity and universalism. Conversations about Syria contain greater antagonism, explained by aspects of the tweet, user and network effects. The #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria conversations exhibit neither the contestation of global attention nor a media-driven cycle of insecurity. The high frequency of agonistic and non-visual tweets, particularly about Syria, suggests a robust exchange of claims, refuting pessimistic depictions of Twitter as a space for superficiality and hate.

AB - This study examines social media responses to the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks by the Islamic State. First impressions of over 2,000,000 tweets containing hashtags #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria suggested a conflation of three issues: (1) Migration: were the attackers homegrown or carrying overseas passports? (2) Violence: why was Paris attacked and why is France bombing the Islamic State? (3) Media: what role should mainstream and social media play during events that are local and global, unique and yet part of a series? However, instead of conflating media, migration and terrorism, we found users of both hashtags discussing Syria, foreign policy, and justice and fairness. Building on previous research exploring how social media affordances encourage certain communication behaviors, we test whether Twitter’s reply function is more conducive to antagonistic comments than retweets, which we hypothesise allow for an expression of solidarity and universalism. Conversations about Syria contain greater antagonism, explained by aspects of the tweet, user and network effects. The #PrayforParis and #PrayforSyria conversations exhibit neither the contestation of global attention nor a media-driven cycle of insecurity. The high frequency of agonistic and non-visual tweets, particularly about Syria, suggests a robust exchange of claims, refuting pessimistic depictions of Twitter as a space for superficiality and hate.

KW - public sphere

KW - terrorism

KW - foreign policy

KW - Syria

KW - Twitter

KW - social media

U2 - 10.1163/18739865-01002006

DO - 10.1163/18739865-01002006

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - 175

EP - 203

JO - Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

JF - Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

SN - 1873-9857

IS - 2-3

ER -