This study aimed to provide an empirical and analytical account of online information flow and web ecology in four platforms around the 2012 general election in South Korea. The study quantitatively examined the interrelationship of web ecology among relevant platforms—including online news, blogs, Twitter and Facebook—during election campaigns. In order to quantify the current political situations, this study employed network analysis and the model fitting method with co-occurrence web visibility data of political parties and their leaders in four platforms. The findings demonstrated to what extent web ecologies on four different online platforms during the given election reflect the country’s political situation. Comparing network centralizations across platforms, results showed that online news was the least biased media and Twitter was the most biased with the highest centralization scores. Although both the ruling party and the major opposition party—including the leaders of those two parties—had higher degree centrality scores than minor parties and their leaders in all platforms, some distinct features were observed in Twitter and Facebook due to their attributes. In addition, regressions and their residuals confirmed that web ecologies in four platforms, in terms of degree centrality, had been linearly expanded over time and showed their individual characteristics.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 16, 2014
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