Our new article ‘Political topic-communities and their framing practices in the Dutch Twittersphere’ is now published in Internet Policy Review! I had the pleasure to work together with Daniela van Geenen, Mirko Tobias Schäfer and Ludo Gorzeman on this one. The paper came forth out of commissioned research for Vrij Nederland and Nieuwsuur. In the paper we discuss how politically interested topic communities engage with news (media).
In light of the need for political plurality and informed debate this study questions information distribution and curation on Twitter. We contribute to the understanding of ideological homophily by exploring the notion of the ‘echo chamber’. Using a sample of two weeks of Dutch Twitter data, we combine network analysis of retweet networks, with qualitative reading and categorisation of engagement with media content in tweets within political topic communities. We found that media references were predominantly framed in affirmative ways in relation to the referenced medium content. Our findings show that users consciously select media messages that correspond with the general sentiment within their topic community, or frame them accordingly. We see this as a willful ‘echo chamber’, or a ‘repillarisation’.