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Max Forte's List: Twitter Politics

    • If the medium is the message, then what's the message when politicians use 140-character tweets to talk about their state's dire economic circumstances or ethics charges?
    • Palin's Twitter feed currently has more than 100,000 followers, including Gawker.com, which follows her every tweet, calling the soon-to-be former governor's feed "the best thing to ever happen on the internet." And not in a nice way.
    • No doubt even the most talented wordsmith must find it difficult to be eloquent and informative in 140 characters or less, but for politicians using a social-media tool to confront serious issues, they also run the risk of diminishing the importance of their message.

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  • Jul 23, 09

    This site tracks political tweets from elected lawmakers in the U.S. Congress.

    • We the Tweeple    of the United States, in order to form a more perfect government, establish communication, and promote transparency do hereby  tweet the Congress of the  United States of America.
  • Jul 23, 09

    On the vacuity, narcissism, and irrelevance of politicians' tweets.

    • conventional ways of communicating with voters might not be adequate, with fewer reading newspapers and news magazines, watching television news or listening to conventional radio news programming
    • I have yet to hear a single intelligent remark twittered by an elected official and was embarrassed for the Congress watching so many members Twittering away on the House floor during the president's speech last month.
    • just because a medium is new doesn't make it a great idea

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  • Jul 24, 09

    Focusing primarily on Twitter, this bibliography covers news reports, documents, podcasts and videos, with some comparative materials on the Moldova "Twitter Revolution"

    • If the headlines had spoken of a “Twitter revolution in Canada,” a North American society with very widespread broadband Internet access, and almost complete Internet penetration, and one of the highest rates of personal computer ownership, one would have still needed to be very skeptical: 74% of Canadians surveyed have never even heard of Twitter, and only 1.45% of Canadians actually use Twitter, most of those being young, professionals, or in universities
    • according to a study done by the Harvard Business School, only 10% of Twitter users generate more than 90% of Twitter content
    • it is doubt that is most absent from the analyses that have been hastily proffered — and when skepticism is absent from analysis, what are we left with? Hype, promotional propaganda, wishful thinking — a rush to the headline-grabbing punchline

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    • The outage that knocked Twitter offline for hours was traced to an attack on a lone blogger in the former Soviet republic of Georgia — but the collateral damage that left millions around the world tweetless showed just how much havoc an isolated cyberdispute can cause
    • The attacks Thursday also slowed down Facebook and caused problems for the online diary site LiveJournal.
    • Twitter, the 140-character-or-less messaging site used by celebrities, businesses and even Iranian protesters, suffered a total outage that lasted several hours.

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    • The groundbreaking microblogging service is great for sharing links and communicating with friends. It's not so good at spreading democracy and overthrowing dictatorships.
    • "Authoritarian regimes should fear Twitter"
    • Not at all. You can't fear what doesn't exist -- and Twitter barely exists, if it exists at all, in most authoritarian countries.

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    • "Twitter was the best source of news about the post-election protests in Iran."
    • It depends. Twitter was a great resource during the protests -- for people who knew how to use it. If you had spent the previous six months carefully studying the Iranian Twitterverse, you would already know who to trust and who to ignore. Unfortunately, 99.9 percent of the readers around the world who turned to Twitter during the uprising had absolutely no idea what they were looking at.
    • After a few days, the #iranelection and #moussavi channels contained so much noise that they became attractive destinations for spammers and marketers.

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    • The "evidence" that Iranian election were stolen was the fact that the results were released too quickly.

      This was enough for Western politicians and media to condemn the Iranian regime and cause rage and protests of the Western public.

    • On the other hand, the overwhelming evidence that Hamid Karzai, the Western puppet in Afghanistan, has clearly stolen the election is not causing any rage and protests.
    • Nearly 20 percent of the voters registered for the recent Afghan election were under age - in many cases as young as 12 years old.

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      • Data Summary

         
           
        • 111,741 tweets posted between August 11, 2009 and September 9, 2009
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        • 11,255 tweets on August 20, 2009, Afghanistan’s presidential election day
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        • 29,642 users talked about Afghanistan in our dataset
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        • Top 10% of tweeters contributed 65% of tweets (same as Iran Election)
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        • Number of retweets for a user was not correlated to their tweeting volume (same as Iran Election)
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        • 483 hashtags were used at least 3 times
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        • No single, dominant hashtag (differs from Iran Election)
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        • 3 most used hashtags: #Afghan09, #Afghanistan, and #AfghanElection
    • Here at the Web Ecology Project, we wondered if Twitter would play as significant a role in reporting the election as it did in Iran
    • In a country where mobile phone subscriptions add up to an estimated 50% of the population, but internet access was roughly 1.5% at last estimate with the status of network expansion [pdf] unclear, could the available ICT infrastructure and awareness of social media prompted by the “twitter revolution” in Iran enable a similar phenomenon post-August 20?

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    • Iran’s pro-democracy movement was able to harness the power of Twitter to mobilize support for their protests against electoral fraud. Now activists are using the micro-blogging tool to give Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an extra-special welcome to New York City.
    • The idea, fittingly enough, first came up on Twitter when users @redcrossmom and @zorinsmom started exchanging messages regarding Ahmadinejad’s visit to the UN and what people could do to protest.
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