- Two different debates? Investigating the relationship between a political debate on TV and simultaneous comments on Twitter
- Social Science Computer Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 33 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
While watching television, more and more citizens comment the program live on social media. This is especially interesting in the case of political debates, as viewers’ comments might not only allow us to tap into public opinion, but they can also be an influential factor of their own and contribute to public discourse. This article analyzes how the TV debate between the candidates for chancellor during the German election campaign 2013 was discussed on Twitter. To do so, the transcript of the debate is linked to a set of N = 120,557 tweets containing the hashtag #tvduell. The results indicate that the candidates were only to a minor degree successful in getting their topics to the Twitter debate. An optimistic reading of the results suggests that Twitter serves as a complement to draw attention to topics neglected in the official debate. A more pessimistic reading would point to the fact that the discourse on Twitter seems to be dominated by sarcastic or funny rather than by substantial content.
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