Exploring Political Discussions by Korean Twitter Users: A Look at Opinion Leadership and Homophily Phenomenon

Myunggoon Choi, Yoonmo SANG, Han Woo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a network analysis of Twitter discussions about Myung-Bak Lee, a former president of South Korea, to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the public opinion exchange on Twitter. Design/methodology/approach – Opinion leaders in the discussion network were identified by considering the longitudinal distribution of tweets containing the former president’s name, and three types of messages (“followings,” “mentions,” and “retweets”) were analyzed using data collected from November 1, 2011, to April 20, 2012. The sample included 26,150 Twitter users and 892,034 relationships reflecting three types of messages. Findings
– The results indicate that the discussion about President Myung-Bak Lee was dominated by liberal Twitter users who already had considerable influence both online and offline. In addition, Twitter users were unlikely to interact with other users with opposing political views.Research limitations/implications – Almost all of the opinion leaders identified in the study held liberal political views, and liberal Twitter users dominated the discussion network. In addition, the Korean Twitter network showed the presence of the homophily phenomenon, implying that opinion leaders’ influence within the Twitter network was limited to other users sharing the same political views. Further, political views of opinion leaders were skewed toward a particular political stance without necessarily representing the opinion of the general public, possibly hindering the democratic process.Originality/value – This study tests the homophily thesis in the context of Twitter users in Korea and contributes to the literature on Twitter-based political discourse by identifying opinion leaders in Korean Twitter networks and examining the phenomenon of homophily within those networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-602
Number of pages21
JournalAslib Journal of Information Management
Volume66
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

twitter
Electric network analysis
leadership
opinion leader
president
network analysis
South Korea
Korea
public opinion

Cite this

@article{acb654a9f5244d3b85a5dd2941aa8ee0,
title = "Exploring Political Discussions by Korean Twitter Users: A Look at Opinion Leadership and Homophily Phenomenon",
abstract = "Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a network analysis of Twitter discussions about Myung-Bak Lee, a former president of South Korea, to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the public opinion exchange on Twitter. Design/methodology/approach – Opinion leaders in the discussion network were identified by considering the longitudinal distribution of tweets containing the former president’s name, and three types of messages (“followings,” “mentions,” and “retweets”) were analyzed using data collected from November 1, 2011, to April 20, 2012. The sample included 26,150 Twitter users and 892,034 relationships reflecting three types of messages. Findings– The results indicate that the discussion about President Myung-Bak Lee was dominated by liberal Twitter users who already had considerable influence both online and offline. In addition, Twitter users were unlikely to interact with other users with opposing political views.Research limitations/implications – Almost all of the opinion leaders identified in the study held liberal political views, and liberal Twitter users dominated the discussion network. In addition, the Korean Twitter network showed the presence of the homophily phenomenon, implying that opinion leaders’ influence within the Twitter network was limited to other users sharing the same political views. Further, political views of opinion leaders were skewed toward a particular political stance without necessarily representing the opinion of the general public, possibly hindering the democratic process.Originality/value – This study tests the homophily thesis in the context of Twitter users in Korea and contributes to the literature on Twitter-based political discourse by identifying opinion leaders in Korean Twitter networks and examining the phenomenon of homophily within those networks.",
keywords = "Communication, Homophily, Korea, NodeXL, Opinion leaders, Social network analysis, Twitter, Webometrics",
author = "Myunggoon Choi and Yoonmo SANG and Park, {Han Woo}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1108/AJIM-11-2012-0089",
language = "English",
volume = "66",
pages = "582--602",
journal = "Aslib Journal of Information Management",
issn = "0001-253X",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "6",

}

Exploring Political Discussions by Korean Twitter Users: A Look at Opinion Leadership and Homophily Phenomenon. / Choi, Myunggoon ; SANG, Yoonmo; Park, Han Woo .

In: Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 66, No. 6, 2014, p. 582-602.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring Political Discussions by Korean Twitter Users: A Look at Opinion Leadership and Homophily Phenomenon

AU - Choi, Myunggoon

AU - SANG, Yoonmo

AU - Park, Han Woo

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a network analysis of Twitter discussions about Myung-Bak Lee, a former president of South Korea, to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the public opinion exchange on Twitter. Design/methodology/approach – Opinion leaders in the discussion network were identified by considering the longitudinal distribution of tweets containing the former president’s name, and three types of messages (“followings,” “mentions,” and “retweets”) were analyzed using data collected from November 1, 2011, to April 20, 2012. The sample included 26,150 Twitter users and 892,034 relationships reflecting three types of messages. Findings– The results indicate that the discussion about President Myung-Bak Lee was dominated by liberal Twitter users who already had considerable influence both online and offline. In addition, Twitter users were unlikely to interact with other users with opposing political views.Research limitations/implications – Almost all of the opinion leaders identified in the study held liberal political views, and liberal Twitter users dominated the discussion network. In addition, the Korean Twitter network showed the presence of the homophily phenomenon, implying that opinion leaders’ influence within the Twitter network was limited to other users sharing the same political views. Further, political views of opinion leaders were skewed toward a particular political stance without necessarily representing the opinion of the general public, possibly hindering the democratic process.Originality/value – This study tests the homophily thesis in the context of Twitter users in Korea and contributes to the literature on Twitter-based political discourse by identifying opinion leaders in Korean Twitter networks and examining the phenomenon of homophily within those networks.

AB - Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a network analysis of Twitter discussions about Myung-Bak Lee, a former president of South Korea, to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the public opinion exchange on Twitter. Design/methodology/approach – Opinion leaders in the discussion network were identified by considering the longitudinal distribution of tweets containing the former president’s name, and three types of messages (“followings,” “mentions,” and “retweets”) were analyzed using data collected from November 1, 2011, to April 20, 2012. The sample included 26,150 Twitter users and 892,034 relationships reflecting three types of messages. Findings– The results indicate that the discussion about President Myung-Bak Lee was dominated by liberal Twitter users who already had considerable influence both online and offline. In addition, Twitter users were unlikely to interact with other users with opposing political views.Research limitations/implications – Almost all of the opinion leaders identified in the study held liberal political views, and liberal Twitter users dominated the discussion network. In addition, the Korean Twitter network showed the presence of the homophily phenomenon, implying that opinion leaders’ influence within the Twitter network was limited to other users sharing the same political views. Further, political views of opinion leaders were skewed toward a particular political stance without necessarily representing the opinion of the general public, possibly hindering the democratic process.Originality/value – This study tests the homophily thesis in the context of Twitter users in Korea and contributes to the literature on Twitter-based political discourse by identifying opinion leaders in Korean Twitter networks and examining the phenomenon of homophily within those networks.

KW - Communication

KW - Homophily

KW - Korea

KW - NodeXL

KW - Opinion leaders

KW - Social network analysis

KW - Twitter

KW - Webometrics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84938260054&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/exploring-political-discussions-korean-twitter-users-look-opinion-leadership-homophily-phenomenon

U2 - 10.1108/AJIM-11-2012-0089

DO - 10.1108/AJIM-11-2012-0089

M3 - Article

VL - 66

SP - 582

EP - 602

JO - Aslib Journal of Information Management

JF - Aslib Journal of Information Management

SN - 0001-253X

IS - 6

ER -