Online presence of the General Election Candidates: Labour wins Twitter while Tories take Wikipedia

Some have called the forthcoming UK general election a Social Media Election. It might be a bit of exaggeration, but there is no doubt that both candidates and voters are very active on social media these days and take them seriously. The Wikipedia-Shapps story of last week is a good example showing how important online presence is for candidates,… Read More »

What does it mean to win a debate anyway?: Media Coverage of the Leaders’ Debates vs. Google Search Trends

Following the April 2nd Leaders’ Debate the media portrayed Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, as the victor of the night, or at least a victor. “Cameron was robotic but Sturgeon impressed” ran a headline for one of The Guardian’s post-debate pieces. The headline for The Independent went even further, stating “’Can… Read More »

Everyone’s Reading About Greece – European Language Political Wikipedia

By Eve Ahearn and Taha Yasseri. Reading niche political party Wikipedia pages, as one does when working on the Social Election Prediction project, one might wonder if there are any trends in which languages have articles about political parties of different countries. I did. Most major political parties in Europe have Wikipedia pages in dozens of languages, this… Read More »

The MPs whose Wikipedia pages have been edited from inside parliament

Grant Shapps is in the headlines after being accused of self-serving edits made to his own entry on Wikipedia, as well as unflattering changes made to rivals’ pages. But he may not be the only politician giving himself a virtual facelift. Analysis of the Twitter account @parliamentedits, which tracks edits to Wikipedia made from inside the Houses of… Read More »

A Brief History of Political Wikipedia

Wikipedia places among the top Google results for almost all topics – including political parties and politicians. This is why the OII’s Social Election Prediction Project exists; when voters seek information before an election they may turn to Wikipedia. Yet the earliest days of Wikipedia featured little political content. While the site itself was founded on January… Read More »

The Ethics of Wikipedia Research

  The election results on this Wikipedia page are wrong, I can tell. As we collect data for the Social Election Prediction Project, I am reviewing many a Wikipedia political party page and every so often I see mistakes. For this project I am checking that the page exists, ensuring that the page existed before the… Read More »

Subjectivity and Data Collection in a “Big Data” Project

“There remains a mistaken belief that qualitative researchers are in the business of interpreting stories and quantitative researchers are in the business of producing facts.” (boyd & Crawford, 2012) The Social Election Prediction project is once again in the data collection phase and we’re here to discuss some of the data collection decision points we have encountered… Read More »