Twitter-things: Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics

Andreas Birkbak, Tobias Bornakke, Irina Maria Clara Hansen Papazu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Parliaments could seem to be highly issue-agnostic places. All sorts of problems move in and out. But issues make cuts. Some parliamentarians become attached to specific issues.
What if the parliament was approached not as a representation device for the national population, but as an assembly of multiple and constantly transforming issue-oriented publics? What kinds of issues come to the fore, how long does this last, and who associate themselves with them?
The aim of the Twitter-thing is to trace the cuts issues make in a parliament. Each time a parliamentarian use a hashtag in a tweet, a link is created between that hashtag and the parliamentarian. The tool then generates a network visualization showing how parliamentarians group around topics and issues.
The resulting ‘issue publics’ – or things in the sense of a collective aroused by an issue – are also ‘data publics’ because they are not necessarily aware of themselves as publics. At the same time, it is possible to self-select membership of these publics by using a specific hashtag. This raises the question of what feedback loops are at work between visualizations and those being visualized. How might a tool like the Twitter-thing change (parliamentary) politics? More generally, the tool prompts us to think about the fate of issues in institutionalized democracy.
The Twitter-thing invites users to explore these questions by making the network available in an interactive format that makes it possible to zoom, search for particular politicians, parties or hashtags, narrow down the network, and follow it over time.
Parliaments could seem to be highly issue-agnostic places. All sorts of problems move in and out. But issues make cuts. Some parliamentarians become attached to specific issues.
What if the parliament was approached not as a representation device for the national population, but as an assembly of multiple and constantly transforming issue-oriented publics? What kinds of issues come to the fore, how long does this last, and who associate themselves with them?
The aim of the Twitter-thing is to trace the cuts issues make in a parliament. Each time a parliamentarian use a hashtag in a tweet, a link is created between that hashtag and the parliamentarian. The tool then generates a network visualization showing how parliamentarians group around topics and issues.
The resulting ‘issue publics’ – or things in the sense of a collective aroused by an issue – are also ‘data publics’ because they are not necessarily aware of themselves as publics. At the same time, it is possible to self-select membership of these publics by using a specific hashtag. This raises the question of what feedback loops are at work between visualizations and those being visualized. How might a tool like the Twitter-thing change (parliamentary) politics? More generally, the tool prompts us to think about the fate of issues in institutionalized democracy.
The Twitter-thing invites users to explore these questions by making the network available in an interactive format that makes it possible to zoom, search for particular politicians, parties or hashtags, narrow down the network, and follow it over time.

Conference

ConferenceData Publics
LocationLancaster University
CountryUnited Kingdom
Citylancaster
Period31/03/201702/04/2017
Internet address

Cite this

Birkbak, A., Bornakke, T., & Papazu, I. M. C. H. (2017). Twitter-things: Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics. Poster session presented at Data Publics, lancaster, United Kingdom.
Birkbak, Andreas ; Bornakke, Tobias ; Papazu, Irina Maria Clara Hansen . / Twitter-things : Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics. Poster session presented at Data Publics, lancaster, United Kingdom.
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Birkbak, A, Bornakke, T & Papazu, IMCH 2017, 'Twitter-things: Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics', lancaster, United Kingdom, 31/03/2017 - 02/04/2017, .

Twitter-things : Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics. / Birkbak, Andreas; Bornakke, Tobias; Papazu, Irina Maria Clara Hansen .

2017. Poster session presented at Data Publics, lancaster, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

TY - CONF

T1 - Twitter-things

T2 - Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics

AU - Birkbak,Andreas

AU - Bornakke,Tobias

AU - Papazu,Irina Maria Clara Hansen

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Parliaments could seem to be highly issue-agnostic places. All sorts of problems move in and out. But issues make cuts. Some parliamentarians become attached to specific issues. What if the parliament was approached not as a representation device for the national population, but as an assembly of multiple and constantly transforming issue-oriented publics? What kinds of issues come to the fore, how long does this last, and who associate themselves with them?The aim of the Twitter-thing is to trace the cuts issues make in a parliament. Each time a parliamentarian use a hashtag in a tweet, a link is created between that hashtag and the parliamentarian. The tool then generates a network visualization showing how parliamentarians group around topics and issues.The resulting ‘issue publics’ – or things in the sense of a collective aroused by an issue – are also ‘data publics’ because they are not necessarily aware of themselves as publics. At the same time, it is possible to self-select membership of these publics by using a specific hashtag. This raises the question of what feedback loops are at work between visualizations and those being visualized. How might a tool like the Twitter-thing change (parliamentary) politics? More generally, the tool prompts us to think about the fate of issues in institutionalized democracy.The Twitter-thing invites users to explore these questions by making the network available in an interactive format that makes it possible to zoom, search for particular politicians, parties or hashtags, narrow down the network, and follow it over time.

AB - Parliaments could seem to be highly issue-agnostic places. All sorts of problems move in and out. But issues make cuts. Some parliamentarians become attached to specific issues. What if the parliament was approached not as a representation device for the national population, but as an assembly of multiple and constantly transforming issue-oriented publics? What kinds of issues come to the fore, how long does this last, and who associate themselves with them?The aim of the Twitter-thing is to trace the cuts issues make in a parliament. Each time a parliamentarian use a hashtag in a tweet, a link is created between that hashtag and the parliamentarian. The tool then generates a network visualization showing how parliamentarians group around topics and issues.The resulting ‘issue publics’ – or things in the sense of a collective aroused by an issue – are also ‘data publics’ because they are not necessarily aware of themselves as publics. At the same time, it is possible to self-select membership of these publics by using a specific hashtag. This raises the question of what feedback loops are at work between visualizations and those being visualized. How might a tool like the Twitter-thing change (parliamentary) politics? More generally, the tool prompts us to think about the fate of issues in institutionalized democracy.The Twitter-thing invites users to explore these questions by making the network available in an interactive format that makes it possible to zoom, search for particular politicians, parties or hashtags, narrow down the network, and follow it over time.

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Birkbak A, Bornakke T, Papazu IMCH. Twitter-things: Retooling the Parliament into Issue-oriented Data Publics. 2017. Poster session presented at Data Publics, lancaster, United Kingdom.