Digital Dialogue? Australian Politicians' use of the Social Network Tool Twitter


The recent emergence of online social media has had a significant effect on the contemporary political landscape, yet our understanding of this remains less than complete. This article adds to current understanding of the online engagement between politicians and the public by presenting the first quantitative analysis of the utilisation of the social network tool Twitter by Australian politicians. The analysis suggests that politicians are attempting to use Twitter for political engagement, though some are more successful in this than others. Politicians are noisier than Australians in general on Twitter, though this is due more to broadcasting than conversing. Those who use Twitter to converse appear to gain more political benefit from the platform than others. Though politicians cluster by party, a relatively ‘small world’ network is evident in the Australian political discussion on Twitter.

Australian Journal of Political Science