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  • 1 Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, Colorado State University, 1785 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA Minjeong.Kim@colostate.edu
  • 2 Department of Media & Communication, Yeungnam University, 214-1, Dae-dong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gyeongsan-si 712-749, South Korea
  • 3 World Class University (WCU) Webometrics Institute and CyberEmotions Research Center, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan-si, South Korea
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Abstract

This study investigates the role of Twitter in political deliberation and participation by analyzing the ways in which South Korean politicians use Twitter. In addition, the study examines the rise of Twitter as user-generated communication system for political participation and deliberation by using the Triple Helix indicators. For this, we considered five prominent politicians, each belonging to one of four political parties, by using data collected in June 2010. The results suggest that non-mainstream, resource-deficient politicians are more likely to take advantage of Twitter's potential as an alternative means of political participation and that a small number of Twitter users lead political discourse in the Twittersphere. We also examined the occurrence and co-occurrence of politicians’ names in Twitter posts, and then calculate entropy values for trilateral relationships. The results suggest that the level of political deliberation, expressed in terms of the level of balance in the communication system, is higher when politicians with different political orientations form the trilateral relationships.

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