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Analysing the social fingerprints of pro-independence movements

Arkaitz Zubiaga

Politics, Protest, Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. 2017.

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Researchers increasingly turn to social media to analyse the online fingerprints produced by offline political movements. Social media such as Twitter have been exploited to learn about society in events such as elections, major protests and other crises and emergencies. However, the analysis of smaller, more obscure communities (with respect to Twitter, but which have an otherwise salient presence), has been studied to a lesser extent. This is the case of pro-independence movements where a smaller part of an existing country makes claims for its independence from the rest of the country. There might be many pro-independence supporters within that region, but that does not always suffice to make it to Twitter?s list of trending topics and/or to reach a broad share of Twitter users, which is however crucial to ensure that the community is visible to others.