Sharp power in social media: Patterns from datasets across electoral campaigns

Simo Hanouna, Omer Neu, Sharon Pardo, Oren Tsur, Hila Zahavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using Christopher Walker’s and Jessica Ludwig’s ‘sharp power’ theoretical framework, and based on some preliminary findings from the May 2019 European Parliament election and the two 2019 rounds of elections in Israel, this article describes a novel method for the automatic detection of political trolls and
bots active in Twitter in the October 2019 federal election in Canada. The research identified thousands of accounts invested in Canadian politics that presented a unique activity pattern, significantly different
from accounts in a control group. The large-scale cross-cross-sectional approach enabled a distinctive perspective on foreign political meddling in Twitter during the recent federal election campaign. This foreign political meddling, we argue, aims at manipulating and poisoning the democratic process and
can challenge democracies and their values, as well as their societal resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-113
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies
Volume11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

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