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Integrating sentiment and social structure to determine preference alignments: the Irish marriage referendum

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dc.contributor.author O'Sullivan, David J.P.
dc.contributor.author Garduño-Hernández, Guillermo
dc.contributor.author Gleeson, James P.
dc.contributor.author Beguerisse-Díaz, Mariano
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-13T08:56:57Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-13T08:56:57Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/6058
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract We examine the relationship between social structure and sentiment through the analysis of a large collection of tweets about the Irish Marriage Referendum of 2015. We obtain the sentiment of every tweet with the hashtags #marref and #marriageref that was posted in the days leading to the referendum, and construct networks to aggregate sentiment and use it to study the interactions among users. Our analysis shows that the sentiment of outgoing mention tweets is correlated with the sentiment of incoming mentions, and there are significantly more connections between users with similar sentiment scores than among users with opposite scores in the mention and follower networks. We combine the community structure of the follower and mention networks with the activity level of the users and sentiment scores to find groups that support voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the referendum. There were numerous conversations between users on opposing sides of the debate in the absence of follower connections, which suggests that there were efforts by some users to establish dialogue and debate across ideological divisions. Our analysis shows that social structure can be integrated successfully with sentiment to analyse and understand the disposition of social media users around controversial or polarizing issues. These results have potential applications in the integration of data and metadata to study opinion dynamics, public opinion modelling and polling. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher The Royal Society en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Royal Society Open Science;4:170154
dc.subject online social media en_US
dc.subject networks en_US
dc.subject text analysis en_US
dc.subject sentiment en_US
dc.subject public opinion en_US
dc.subject homophily en_US
dc.title Integrating sentiment and social structure to determine preference alignments: the Irish marriage referendum en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1098/rsos.170154
dc.contributor.sponsor SFI en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor Oxford-Emirates Data Science Lab en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor James S. McDonnell Foundation en_US
dc.relation.projectid 11/PI/1026 2/IA/I683 en_US
dc.relation.projectid 220020349-CS en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2719671


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