Andreas Jungherr, Harald Schoen, Pascal Jürgens
The mediation of politics through Twitter: An analysis of messages posted during the campaign for the German federal election 2013

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2016: 21, Heft 1, S. 50-68
ISSN: 1083-6101 (Online)

Patterns found in digital trace data are increasingly used as evidence of social phenomena. Still, the role of digital services not as mirrors but instead as mediators of social reality has been neglected. We identify characteristics of this mediation process by analyzing Twitter messages referring to politics during the campaign for the German federal election 2013 and comparing the thus emerging image of political reality with established measurements of political reality. We focus on the relationship between temporal dynamics in politically relevant Twitter messages and crucial campaign events, comparing dominant topics in politically relevant tweets with topics prominent in surveys and in television news, and by comparing mention shares of political actors with their election results.