Qual Quant (2015) 49:675–689
Measuring web ecology by Facebook, Twitter, blogs
and online news: 2012 general election in South Korea
Yoonjae Nam · Yeon-Ok Lee · Han Woo Park
Published online: 16 March 2014
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014
Abstract This study aimed to provide an empirical and analytical account of online informa-
tion 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.
Keywords Webecology · Election · Social media · Blog · Online news · Facebook ·
Twitter · Social Media · Webometrics · Social Network analysis · Communication Network ·
Department of Culture & Tourism Contents, College of Hotel Tourism Management,
Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
Y. - O . L e e
SOAS, University of London, London, UK
H. W. Park (
Department of Media and Communication, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, South Korea