Political Disinformation and Social Media: A Study of Twitter in the American 2016 Presidential Election
Lee, Jennifer J.
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CitationLee, Jennifer J. 2020. Political Disinformation and Social Media: A Study of Twitter in the American 2016 Presidential Election. Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College.
AbstractSocial media has revolutionized American elections, but also made possible interference by foreign agents, such as Russia’s state-sponsored disinformation campaign during the 2016 American presidential election. While scholars claim fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter decidedly influenced the election results, empirical evidence is inconclusive and scant. This study attempts to directly observe the empirical relationships between genuine Twitter users and Russian trolls by measuring hashtag usage upticks and analyzing retweet network cascade sizes, using tweets published from October 22, 2016 to November 2, 2016. Preliminary results suggest that Russian trolls had minimal engagement on hashtag usage and retweets, following more general Twitter conversations rather than leading it.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364748
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