The Twitter parliamentarian database: Analyzing Twitter politics across 26 countries
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
This article introduces the Twitter Parliamentarian Database (TPD), a multi-source and manually validated database of parliamentarians on Twitter. The TPD includes parliamentarians from all European Free Trade Association countries where over 45% of parliamentarians are on Twitter as well as a selection of English-speaking countries. The database is designed to move beyond the one-off nature of most Twitter-based research and in the direction of systematic and rigorous comparative and transnational analysis. The TPD incorporates, in addition to data collected through Twitter's streaming API and governmental websites, data from the Manifesto Project Database; the Electoral System Design Database; the ParlGov database; and the Chapel Hill Expert Survey. By compiling these different data sources it becomes possible to compare different countries, political parties, political party families, and different kinds of democracies. To illustrate the opportunities for comparative and transnational analysis that the TPD opens up, we ask: What are the differences between countries in parliamentarian Twitter interactions? How do political parties differ in their use of hashtags and what is their common ground? What is the structure of interaction between parliamentarians in the transnational debate? Alongside some interesting similarities, we find striking cross-party and particularly cross-national differences in how parliamentarians engage in politics on the social media platform.