El activismo por Twitter ante la movilización nacionalista: el caso de la diada catalana de 2016

Autor:Toni Rodon - Francesc Martori - Jordi Cuadros
Cargo:London School of Economics and Political Science, GB - IQS ? Universitat Ramon Llull, ES - IQS ? Universitat Ramon Llull, ES
Páginas:15-29
RESUMEN

Este artículo examina el uso de Twitter durante la diada catalana de 2016. Nuestro propósito es analizar las características de los usuarios que emplearon ciertos hashtags. ¿Hasta qué punto existen diferencias significativas entre los usuarios que emplean diferentes hashtags? Basándonos en teorías de identidad nacional y polarización, observamos el contenido de los tweets enviados durante la diada. Aprovechando un evento de movilización masiva, examinamos cómo los usuarios de Twitter se agrupaban alrededor de diferentes hashtags, el contenido que transmitían o en qué idioma escribían. El análisis empírico se basa en un corpus de unos 60.000 usuarios únicos de Twitter y más de 200.000 tweets, lo que nos permite analizar sus características, el contenido que enviaron y el lenguaje en el que lo hicieron. Nuestras conclusiones muestran que los usuarios se agruparon alrededor de diferentes hashtags y que el lenguaje moldeó en gran medida el contenido de los tweets. Además, el análisis del contenido de los mensajes enviados dentro de cada uno de los grupos muestra opiniones políticas diferenciadas sobre el debate acerca de la independencia.

 
CONTENIDO
IDP no. 26 (February, 2018) I ISSN 1699-8154 Journal promoted by the Law and Political Science Department
Toni Rodon
www.uoc.edu/idp
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Submission date: August 2017
Accepted date: December 2017
Published in: February 2018
ARTICLE
Twitter activism in the face
of nationalist mobilisation:
the case of the 2016 Catalan Diada
Toni Rodon
London School of Economics and Political Science
Francesc Martori
IQS School of Management
Universitat Ramon Llull
Jordi Cuadros
IQS School of Management
Universitat Ramon Llull
Abstract
This article examines the use of Twitter during the 2016 Catalan Diada (Catalan National Day). We aim
at analysing the characteristics of the users that employed certain hashtags. To what extent there are
significant differences across users employing different hashtags? Drawing on theories of national
identity and polarisation, we look at the content of the tweets sent during the Diada. Taking advantage
of a massive mobilisation event, we examine how Twitter users clustered around different hashtags,
the content they transmitted or in which language they tweeted. The empirical analysis is based on
a Twitter corpus of about 60,000 unique users and more than 200,000 tweets, which allows us to
analyse their characteristics, the content they sent, and the language in which they did it. Our findings
show that users clustered around different hashtags and that language is strongly correlated with the
content of the tweet. In addition, content analysis of the messages sent within each of the clusters shows
distinguishable political views on the independence debate.
Keywords
Twitter, Catalonia, nationalism, mobilisation
Topic
political science, text analysis
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Toni Rodon, Francesc Martori and Jordi Cuadros
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
El activismo por Twitter ante la movilización nacionalista:
el caso de la diada catalana de 2016
Abstract
Este artículo examina el uso de Twitter durante la diada catalana de 2016. Nuestro propósito es analizar
las características de los usuarios que emplearon ciertos hashtags. ¿Hasta qué punto existen diferencias
significativas entre los usuarios que emplean diferentes hashtags? Basándonos en teorías de identidad
nacional y polarización, observamos el contenido de los tweets enviados durante la diada. Aprovechando
un evento de movilización masiva, examinamos cómo los usuarios de Twitter se agrupaban alrededor
de diferentes hashtags, el contenido que transmitían o en qué idioma escribían. El análisis empírico
se basa en un corpus de unos 60.000 usuarios únicos de Twitter y más de 200.000 tweets, lo que
nos permite analizar sus características, el contenido que enviaron y el lenguaje en el que lo hicieron.
Nuestras conclusiones muestran que los usuarios se agruparon alrededor de diferentes hashtags y que
el lenguaje moldeó en gran medida el contenido de los tweets. Además, el análisis del contenido de los
mensajes enviados dentro de cada uno de los grupos muestra opiniones políticas diferenciadas sobre el
debate acerca de la independencia.
Palabra clave
Twitter, Cataluña, nacionalismo, movilización
Tema
ciencias políticas, análisis de textos
1. Introduction
The extensive use of social media for protest purposes
or social mobilisation has become a distinctive feature of
political events across the globe. The Arab Spring in 2011
as well as the 2008 Obama campaign fueled interest in
how social media affects citizens’ participation in civic
and political l ife. Yet, studies of Twitter com munication
during mobilisation processes have especially focused
on protests in autocratic regimes or in places where the
electoral politics can be generally structured into a single
left-right dimension. Less is known about how Twitter
users communicate and interact in contexts where the
political competition is bi-dimensional, that is, in places
where social and political competition is structured along
the traditional ideological cleavage as well as an additional
(quasi-)orthogonal cleavage.
This article aims at contributing to this literature by studying
three interrelated aspects: First, we analyse the strategic
use of the hashtags and whether they constitute a sign of
political polarisation. Second, we examine the characteristics
of the users that employ certain hashtags. Finally, we delve
into how Twitter users communicate and interact during a
period of intense mobilisation.
We focus on the case of Catalonia and, particularly, on the
use of Twitter during the days surrounding the Catalan
National Day celebrated on 11 September 2016. During
this period, Catalan civic associations organised pro-
independence demonstrations in different Catalan cities
with the goal of pushing forward the secessionist agenda.
One of the communication strategies they pursued was to
promote the use of certain hashtags. Taking this context
into account, how did users communicate and interact
between each other? Were the characteristics of the users
that employed the same hashtag homogeneous? Were pro-
independence mobilisation hashtags able to encapsulate
similar profiles? How frequent was the interaction across
ideological lines? Was there a conditioning factor that
shaped the online communication?
Overall, the goal of this article is twofold: First, we
complement previous studies on the use of Twitter
hashtags under polarised scenarios. In our case, however,
polarisation does not only occur along the traditional left-
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
right divide, but especially along the national dimension
(Catalan-Spanish). In this sense, this article aims at
contributing to previous investigations on the publics of
the hashtag, a powerful tool shaping online communication
(Bruns et al., 2015). If hashtags are successful in clustering
similar profiles around them, we expect certain hashtags
to have more homogeneous users in what concerns the
sovereignty debate than others. Second, we examine how
the online debate unfolds under a nationalist mobilisation
scenario and describe the interaction and the type of
communication that take place between the different
groups.
Our methodological approach relies on the communications
that took place on Twitter in 6-17 September. We collected
224,900 tweets that employed certain political hashtags.
Overall, we have information on around 60,000 unique
users. We later analysed whether different hashtags were
able to cluster similar users together regarding content and
interaction.
Findings of this article are several: First, the analysis shows
that the strategic use of hashtags was largely successful
and that users with similar views in the sovereignty debate
clustered around the same hashtags. While the hashtag
#apunt encapsulated both political messages in favour of
Catalan independence and messages to bring citizens to the
streets, the hashtag #diada was mainly employed to write
messages about ceremonial activities or other greeting
statements, but also to discredit citizen’s mobilisation
or to criticise the pro-independence messages launched
by the organisers. In other words, the polarisation of the
independence debate also manifested itself in social media
via the use of hashtags. Second, despite the opposite being
true, users that wanted to send different political messages
strategically employed different hashtags to do it. Finally,
we show that the use of a hashtag strongly correlates with
the language employed to send the tweet.
The article proceeds as follows: Next section develops the
theoretical framework and the debate around communication
in Twitter. This section serves as a backdrop to explain, in
section 3, the case of study and the data we employ. Section
4 focuses on mobilisation patterns and on the tweet’s
content. Finally, section 5 concludes and discusses further
avenues of research.
2. Theoretical framework
Social media can potentially change or contribute to the
political communication, mobilisation, and organisation
of social movements (Boulianne 2015). Twitter provides a
space to share information alternative to that available in
mainstream media coverage (Vicari, 2013) and emerges as
a powerful opinion and emotion net organiser (Ferré-Pavia
and Perales García, 2015). Furthermore, Twitter was soon
considered as an effective tool to improve our current
democratic systems by increasing political participation
and reducing the participation gap. Indeed, Twitter appears
to have a positive effect in mobilising citizens likely to
be disengaged with the political process, such as those
with lower socioeconomic status and younger individuals
(Enjolras et al., 2013). Although Twitter users are not
representative of the general population, recent research
suggests that there is a strong correlation between online
and offline political communication and that online users
allow the contents that circulate on the web to diffuse
among populations that are much broader than those that
engage with social media (Vaccari et al., 2013). Twitter is
ultimately believed to be an efficient tool of communication
between agents of mobilisation and citizens (Hosch-Dayican
et al., 2016)
Despite the potential benefits of Twitter, several authors
have warned that deliberation in Twitter does not reach
its full potential as users tend to be encapsulated in “echo
chambers” of like-minded individuals. By following users
or hashtags that align with one’s political or ideological
views, Twitter users might be alienated from different
political views. For example, Gruzd and Roy (2014) show
that Twitter further embed partisan loyalties, contributing
to political polarisation, a dynamic that is especially strong
during electoral periods. Similarly, Barberá (2015) found that
online behaviour during the 2012 US presidential election
campaign followed ideological lines and users ended up
discussing with like-minded individuals. Du and Gegory (2017)
concluded that Twitter communities are indeed becoming
more polarised as time passes, with existing edges more
likely to be removed if they are between communities than
inside existing communities. Finally, Conover et al. (2011)
have shown that the network of political retweets exhibits a
highly segregated partisan structure, with extremely limited
connectivity between left- and right-leaning users. All in all,
this constitutes a relevant debate, as the academic literature
still debates whether Twitter triggers polarisation or helps
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
finding common ground between different ideological sides.
As it is shown in the previous summary, the debate is far
from settled. Whether Twitter resembles an “echo chamber”
(selective exposure and ideological segregation) or a
“national conversation” (assuming this is not segregated),
depends upon several factors. For example, Barberá et al.
(2015) show that there is an important asymmetry with
respect to p olitical communication with liberals, who are
more likely than conservatives to engage in cross-ideological
dissemination. In the same work, authors conclude that
“previous work may have overestimated the degree of
ideological segregation in social-media usage” (Barberá
et al., 2015). On a similar vein, previous results show that,
with Twitter, people are exposed to broader viewpoints than
they were before but are limited in their ability to engage in
meaningful discussion (Yardi and Boyd, 2010). Finally, in the
context of Catalonia, which we also analyse here, Balcells
and Padró-Solanet (2016) found that communication across
political lines is relatively frequent and that heterogeneous
conversations tend to be significantly longer than
homogeneous ones.
The previous debate intertwines with how agents of political
mobilisation employ Twitter for political activism, that is,
to propagate their own political views and messages. In
this sense, the use of hashtags has emerged as one of
the most popular tools. Hashtags may be used for a wide
range of purposes, such as to coordinate public discussion
and information-sharing on political topics. As Bruns and
Burgess put it, “using a thematic hashtag in one’s tweet
as an explicit attempt to address an imagined community
of users who are following and discussing a specific topic”
(Bruns and Burgess, 2011, p. 4). Hashtags are used to
bundle together tweets and political organisations actively
employ them for political agitation. Even in some occasions
promoting the use of certain hashtags to the list of most
employed hashtags becomes a political goal in itself. The
question, however, is w hether the hashtag community
is heterogeneous or homogeneous, that is, whether the
strategic use of hashtags is able to reach different audiences
or it simply clusters users with similar profiles. Do hashtags
quickly reach consensus or different hashtags emerged with
different competing publics? The answer to this question
is not clear yet. Hitherto, the best evidence comes from
Bruns and Burgess (2015) recent article. They show tha t
sometime s hashtags eme rge from w ithin the Twitter
community and others from certain actors that promote
their use. Knowing the answer to this debate is important,
as the use of hashtags might be crucial for understanding
the increase (or decrease) in the level of polarisation in the
Twitter community.
All in all, the jury is still out on whether hashtags are able to
encapsulate similar users or, more generally, whether Twitter
bolsters conversations within ideological lines or across
them. In this article, we seek to contribute to this debate
by analysing Twitter user’s interactions and content during
a Catalan nationalist mobilisation event. Did ideologically
similar users cluster around the same hashtag? More
specifically, did users in favour and against independence
interact between each other in the face of and during a
pro-independence demonstration? If it occurred, in what
terms the interaction took place?
3. Case of study and data
The Catalan case can offer useful insights in t his debate
as political competition is divided along two different
dimensions: the traditional ideological dimension and the
nationalist dimension (Guinjoan, Rodon and Sanjaume,
2013). Over the last years, the secessionist debate has
become prominent in the public sphere, redefining the
political landscape and the pre-existing political cleavages
(Orriols and Rodon, 2016). Although we have some insights
on how the different groups interact between each other
(Serrano, 2013; Rodon, 2015), we still do not have a clear
understanding of how this interaction takes place, especially
in online communication forums.
The Catalan National Day (Diada) is celebrated every 11
September. This day commemorates the defeat in 1714
against the Bourbon King Philip V of Spain. The surrender
marked the dissolution of autonomous Catalan institutions,
the removal of Catalan as an official language, and the
imposition of new laws from the newly centralised Spain.
The Catalan National Day is used by many Catalans to
remember that, against many odds, the Catalan identity,
culture and language has been able to survive over time.
Since 2012, when the debate over independence came to the
fore (Cuadras-Morató, 2016), the Diada has been a magnet
for supporters of Catalan independence. Over the last
years, the Catalan Nationa l Day has been employed by civic
organisations to organise massive demonstrations and push
forward the secessionist agenda (Cuadras-Morató, 2016). In
2016’s Diada, the context we analyse here, this was not an
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exceptio n. The Catalan Na tional Assem bly (ANC, in Catalan),
a civic association that promotes Catalan independence
and promotes citizen’s mobilisation to pursue this goal,
organised a demonstration in the streets of Barcelona and in
four other Catalan cities again. According to various sources,
around 1 million people took the streets and demanded a new
State for Catalonia and the right to celebrate a referendum
on independence. Thus, at least in the last few years, the
Diada has become a context of nationalist mobilisation in
which social media plays a prominent role.
Using the Twitter API,
1
we collected all tweets sent between
September 6-17 that contained at least one of the following
hashtags: #diada, #diada11s2016, #11s2016, #apunt,
#apunt11s, #estempreparats, #11stv3, #diadarac1. Although
other use rs could tweet usin g other hashtags, these
hashtags represent a comprehensive account of hashtags
employed during this period. They all became the most-
employed hashtags in Spain that day. It is also noteworthy
to mention that pro-unity online activists did not promote
any significant hashtag that day. The first three hashtags are
generic, employed every year with subtle differences, and
attempted at referring to the National Day. The hashtags
#apunt, #apunt11s and #estempreparats were employed
by the ANC to mobilise supporters for independence and
bring citizens to the streets.
2
Finally, the last two hashtags
were used by the Catalan public TV and the most listened
radio station, respectively. In total, we collected 224,900
tweets. It is noteworthy to stress that the ANC was behind
the design and the initial promotion of the #apunt hashtag.
The ANC actively encouraged Twitter users to employ it to
propagate its political messages. In addition, the ANC sought
to turn the hashtag into a world trending topic. Therefore, if
hashtags are successful in clustering similar profiles around
them, we should expect the #apunt hashtag to have more
homogeneous users in what concerns the sovereignty
debate than other hashtags.
Among all collected tweets, there are a few users that
provide information about their geolocation (less than
0.5%). However, most of those that facilitated geographic
information were tweeting from Catalonia.
1. We employed the R library “twitteR” (Gentry, 2015).
2. In Catalan, “a punt” and “estem preparats” mean “we are ready”. With this slogan, the organisers of the demonstration wanted to send
the message that the Catalan society was “ready” for independence.
3. The total sum does not equal the distribution as some users tend to employ more than one hashtag and the same tweet can include more
than one hashtag. In addition, we are not taking into account the hashtag “estempreparats”, as only 13 users employed it.
Table 1 displays the distribution of tweets by hashtag and
the number of unique users that sent them. Almost half of
the tweets contained the hashtag #diada. It was also the
most popular hashtag in terms of unique users. However,
as the table shows, there was substantial variation in terms
of the hashtags users employed. Later, we will ultimately
exploit this variation and analyse the language people
employed and whether users clustered their content around
a hashtag.
3
Table 1: Summary of the tweets collected by hashtag and
number of unique users
Hashtag Number of tweets Number of users
#diada 109,667 46,726
#apunt 73,308 17,806
#11s2016 27,171 11,854
#11sTV3 16,878 8934
#apunt11s 26,386 10,047
#diada11s2016 1017 873
#diadarac1 2175 1192
Total 224,900 60,659
Figure 1 shows the frequency polygons for the tweets
collected under the hashtags #apunt and #diada. The
figure shows most of the tweets under the hashtag #diada
were sent on 11 September, the Catalan National Day. This
trend is consistent with the fact that most of the users may
decide to include the hashtag #diada during the National
Day, and not before or after. A similar pattern emerges
for the hashtag #apunt, promoted by the demonstration
organisers to mobilise supporters for independence. The
label “a punt”, which encapsulated the different political
protests around the Catalan territory, was launched a few
days before 11 September and several Twitter users started
employing it before the demonstrations officially took place.
As compared to the hashtag #diada, the use of the #apunt
hashtag rapidly declines after the mobilisation event.
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Numbers show that 79% of tweets #diada were issued on
11 September, while only 37% of tweets with the hashtag
#apunt were sent the same day.
Next, we zo om in on t he use of the two most popular
hashtags during the Catalan National Day. As Figure 2
illustrates, the hashtag #diada was the most employed
hashtag throughout the day. It reached its peak at 6pm,
at the time of the demonstrations. A similar pattern is
observed for the hashtag #apunt, although the absolute
number of tweets that employed it was significantly
lower.
Figure 1: Frequency polygons for the tweets with hashtags #apunt and #diada
Figure 2: Frequency polygons for the tweets with hashtags #apunt and #diada on 11 September
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Although the total number of tweets that employed the
hashtag #diada was higher, the frequency in which this
hashtag was employed as compared to the #diada hashtag
portrays a different picture. During the Diada and the next
two days, almost half of the tweets that were sent included
either the hashtag #apunt or #diada. Did users of these
hashtags employ different political messages? What was
the content of the tweets encapsulated within each of the
hashtags? These questions are precisely the ones we will
try to answer in the next section.
4. Mobilisation and Twitter
content
This section first examines whether the use of hashtags
was exclusive or complimentary and the language employed
to send the tweet. This provides relevant evidence that
serves as a backdrop to analyse the language in which the
tweet was written. After showing that tweets in different
languages clustered around different hashtags, we analyse
the content of the tweets and the political messages they
were trying to convey.
Figure 4 shows the cross-tabulation between the different
hashtags. As illustrated by the percentages, there was little
overlapping between the different hashtags. The highest
overlapping occurred between the hashtag #apunt and
#11s2016: 36% of the tweets sent with the hashtag #apunt
Figure 3: Proportion of tweets with hashtags #apunt or #diada (area chart)
Figure 4: The use of the different hashtags (in column %)
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
also contained the hashtag #11s2016. Interestingly, the two
most employed hashtags during the period of analysis
covered by the data—#apunt and #diada—had very low
overlapping percentages. Thus, only 6% of the users
employing the hashtag #apunt also employed the hashtag
#diada in the same tweet. In fact, 78.3% of the users that
employed the hashtag #diada never employed the hashtag
#apunt in the same tweet. On the other hand, 43% of the
users that employed the hashtag #apunt never employed
the hashtag #diada.
The next Figure further explores the use of the two most
employed hashtags (#diada and #apunt). Figure 5 shows
the percentage of tweets sent by users that only employed
one or the other hashtag. In the middle of t he graph, we
plotted the frequency distribution of users that employed
the two hashtags, either in the same tweet or in different
tweets. Overall, a substantial number of users, around
10,000, employed both of them.
The Figure shows the cumulative distribution of hashtag
use by users who used either the hashtag #apunt or the
hashtag #diada. Among the 54,000 users who used any
of them, only 10,159 users used both, which shows a low
level of possible dialogue between users of both hashtags.
4. It is important to consider that users could start configuring their Twitter in Spanish in 2009 and in Catalan in 2012.
However, this behaviour is different in both hashtags. As a
matter of fact, 57% of users who used the hashtag #apunt,
also used the hashtag #diada. On the other hand, only
22% of users who used the hashtag #diada also used the
hashtag #apunt.
This pattern provides a first indication that many Twitter
users clustered around different hashtags, but others
employed both. As we shall see, even users that employed
the same hashtag, but in different tweets, used them to
send different political messages.
Figure 6 shows the language settings of users grouped
around the two most popular hashtags. As the Figure shows,
users employing the hashtag #apunt had Twitter configured
mainly in Catalan (about 75% of them). The opposite stands
for the hashtag #diada. The language configuration of most
users tweeting with this hashtag was Spanish.
4
This clustering around different hashtags is confirmed when
we look at the language people employed to write the tweet.
To that effect, we used the library “textcat” to identify the
language of the tweet (Hornik, 2013) and analysed whether
users employing different hashtags also used different
languages to tweet.
Figure 5: Hashtag overlapping between the two main hashtags
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
Figure 6: Users’ Language settings by the hashtags #diada and #apunt
Figure 7: Language of the tweet by hashtag
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
This intuition is confirmed in Figure 7. Users employing the
hashtag #apunt mostly wrote in Catalan: around 70% of
the tweets under this hashtag were written in this language.
In contrast, most of the tweets using the hashtag #diada
were written in Spanish.
All in all, we have convincing evidence that users clustered
around different hashtags and that language is strongly
correlated with the use of the hashtags.
Next, we analyse the content of the tweets sent by hashtag
and language. Figure 8 shows the frequency of the most
common terms by hashtag and the language in which the
tweet was written. To do this, we first removed the stop-
words, that is, punctuation signs and spaces. Moreover, we
did not consider retweets, and tweets with the same content
are only considered once. Therefore, we are only analysing
unique messages included in the tweets.
5. A bigram is a sequence of two adjacent elements from a string of tokens.
Figure 8 shows the most common bigrams
5
written in
Catalan clustered around the two most employed hashtags.
Twitter users that wrote in Catalan encapsulated different
messages in different hashtags. In the hashtag #apunt,
besides generic messages around the National Day, users
mostly twitted about the “Catalan Republic” and other
political messages. In contrast, the hashtag #diada was
mostly employed to write messages about ceremonial
activities or other greeting statements.
If we look at the same content for users that tweet in
Spanish, the pattern is different. A substantial amount of
users employing the hashtag #apunt talk about the “Catalan
Republic”. However, there are remarkable differences
when we look at the hashtag #diada. A great amount of
users employed the concept “right to decide” (“derecho
a decidir”), which vaguely refers to the demand to hold a
referendum on independence. At the same time, other users
Figure 8: Bigrams by hashtag sent in Catalan
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
also employed the hashtag to send a “viva espana” message,
which aims at triggering a confrontational message against
the political mobilisation surrounding the celebration of the
Catalan National Day.
5. Conclusions and discussion
A substantial number of citizens use Twitter every day.
Eithe r to pro pagate ce rtain me ssages or to gath er
information, Twitter has become an important tool
in modern societ ies. Thanks to i ts ca pacity to s pread
messages, it has also emerged as an essential political
tool. Nowadays there is hardly any political event that is
not discussed on Twitter. Political agents of mobilisation
intensively use Twitter, especially hashtags, to promote
their political messages.
The academic literature has analysed whether users with
different opinions, attitudes or ideological profiles are
exposed to opposing messages or whether they communicate
between each other. Is Twitter an ‘echo chamber’ in which
ideological groups isolate from conflicting opinions or it
resembles a heterogeneous forum where different voices
and opinions are heard?
In this article, we contribute to this debate by analysing
how the promotion of public hashtags shaped Twitter
communications right before, during, and right after the
Catalan National Day. On 11 September 2016, different Catalan
associations organised pro-independence demonstrations
throughout Catalonia and Twitter was decisively employed
to bring citizens to the streets. During this period, we
collected 224,900 tweets and analysed both their content
and interaction.
Findings show that users clustered together around different
hashtags, which ended up encapsulating different political
messages. While the hashtag #apunt was used to send
mobilisation messages and pro-independence slogans, the
hashtag #diada encapsulated more neutral messages and
even messages against independence.
Figure 9: Bigrams by hashtag sent in Spanish
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Twitter activism in the face of nationalist mobilisation…
We think these findings encourage researchers to further
analyse Twitter communications that take place during
protest activities in liberal democracies. In this article, we dug
into online communication between users with a different
national identification and found that, while exchange of
ideas take place, most users tend to employ Twitter to send
one-directional messages without engaging in conversations,
especially with those using other hashtags, that is, on the
opposite side of the political spectrum. Future studies will
need to confirm this trend in other settings and cases.
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Recommended citation
RODON, Toni; MARTORI, Francesc; CUADROS, Jordi (2018). “Twitter activism in the face of nationalist
mobilization: the case of the 2016 Catalan Diada”. IDP. Revista de Internet, Derecho y Política. No. 26,
pp. 15-29. UOC [Accessed: dd/mm/yy]
<http://dx.doi.org/10.7238/idp.v0i26.3120>
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About the authors
Toni Rodon
a.rodon-casarramona@lse.ac.uk
www.tonirodon.cat
Postdoctoral researcher
London School of Economics and Political Science
European Doctor by Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Postdoctoral researcher at the London School of
Economics. Assistant Professor at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Before that, he was a
postdoctoral researcher in the Spatial Social Science Lab, at Stanford University (2014-2016) and at the
Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. His research interests
include ideology, electoral participation, political geography and political parties, as well as public opinion
and the study of nationalism.
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London
WC2A 2AE
UK
Francesc Martori
francesc.martori@iqs.url.edu
Analytics, Simulations and Inquiry in STEM and Business Education (ASISTEMBE)
IQS School of Management, Universitat Ramon Llull
Francesc Martori received his B.Sc. degree in chemical engineering from IQS Univ. Ramon Llull (URL),
Barcelona, Spain, in 2008. He also received from IQS Univ. Ramon Llull (URL) a Master in Industrial
Management in 2009 and a PhD in Economy and Management in 2013. He holds a diploma in Statistics
(UNED, 2016). He was a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, in
2015. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the Quantitative Methods Department at IQS Univ. Ramon
Llull (URL). He belongs to ASISTEMBE research group and his research focus on analysing the use of
simulations for teaching and learning physical sciences at the university level by applying learning
analytics. Prof. Martori is a Member of the Catalan Society of Statistics and the Spanish Network on
Learning Analytics
IQS School of Management
Universitat Ramon Llull
Via Augusta 390
08017, Barcelona
IDP no. 26 (February, 2018) I ISSN 1699-8154 Journal promoted by the Law and Political Science Department
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Jose R. Agustina
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Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
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Toni Rodon, Francesc Martori and Jordi Cuadros
Jordi Cuadros
jordi.cuadros@iqs.url.edu
Analytics, Simulations and Inquiry in STEM and Business Education (ASISTEMBE)
IQS School of Management, Universitat Ramon Llull
Jordi Cuadros received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from IQS Univ. Ramon Llull (URL), Barcelona,
Spain, in 1997 and 2003, respectively and a degree in Education from Universidad Nacional a Distancia
(UNED) in 2010. He spent two years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Chemistry, Carnegie
Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, he is an Associate Professor with the Quantitatives Methods
Department at IQS Univ. Ramon Llull (URL). He leads the ASISTEMBE research group and his research
focus on analysing the use of simulations for teaching and learning physical sciences at the university level
by applying learning analytics. Prof. Cuadros is a Member of the Catalan Chemical Society, the American
Chemical Society and its Division of Chemical Education and the Spanish Network on Learning Analytics.
IQS School of Management
Universitat Ramon Llull
Via Augusta 390
08017, Barcelona