The role of hyperactive Twitter accounts in the diffusion of political information

Matuszewski, Paweł and Szabó, Gabriella (2023) The role of hyperactive Twitter accounts in the diffusion of political information. POLICY STUDIES. ISSN 0144-2872 (print), 1470-1006 (elektronikus) (In Press)

[img] Text
The role of hyperactive Twitter accounts_main document_revised_with author details_revised_July23 (1).pdf
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (1MB)


Social media virality is intertwined with content’s ability to trigger specific reactions; however, little is known regarding the behavioural component of political information diffusion. This study used This study uses big data to investigate the significance of hyperactive social media use in the retransmission of information produced by political opinion leaders on Twitter (N = 361) during Poland’s 2019 European parliamentary election campaign. Using the isolation forest method, the research identified the social bot-like (semi)automated or human-controlled Twitter handles which are referred to as hyperactive accounts (N = 583). The study finds that the hyperactive accounts produced almost all reactions in our sample (N = 114,036), but their average activity was relatively moderate and did not exceed human capabilities. Although their retweets equal 0.46% of the retweets obtained by political opinion leaders, the random forest regression models suggest that the likes and retweets from hyperactive accounts are the most important determinants of the dissemination of political opinion leaders’ tweets (R-squared = 0.82). The robustness of the results was checked by fitting models with different thresholds for hyperactivity. The results draw attention to the alarming phenomenon of the further increase in Twitter’s interactional asymmetry.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: hyperactivity, diffusion of political information, prediction of retweets, Twitter, opinion leaders, election campaign
Subjects: J Political Science / politológia > JA Political science (General) / politológia általában
Depositing User: Gabriella Szabó
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2023 14:13
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 14:13

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item