The Bully Pulpit, Social Media, and Public Opinion: A Big Data Approach

Gabriel Michael, Colin P Agur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, we seek to understand the contemporary power of the presidential “bully pulpit”—the persuasive power of the nation’s highest elected office—in a context of shifting patterns of mediation. We do so by examining a major social media communication platform (Twitter) for evidence of changes in public opinion before and after President Obama’s high-profile statements on net neutrality in November 2014. This study includes novel and comprehensive data on the effects of a presidential announcement on public opinion. With social media playing a growing role in both electoral and policy discourse, this paper offers a methodological foundation for future studies in the changing nature of the presidential bully pulpit and the role of social media as a tool of mediation in political communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-277
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018

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social media
public opinion
mediation
Communication
political communication
twitter
neutrality
president
discourse
communication
evidence
Big data

Keywords

  • President
  • big data
  • bully pulpit
  • machine learning
  • public opinion
  • social media
  • twitter

Cite this

The Bully Pulpit, Social Media, and Public Opinion : A Big Data Approach. / Michael, Gabriel; Agur, Colin P.

In: Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Vol. 15, No. 3, 03.07.2018, p. 262-277.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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