Riots and twitter: connective politics, social media and framing discourses in the digital public sphere

Pond, P and Lewis, J 2019, 'Riots and twitter: connective politics, social media and framing discourses in the digital public sphere', Information, Communication and Society, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 213-231.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Riots and twitter: connective politics, social media and framing discourses in the digital public sphere
Author(s) Pond, P
Lewis, J
Year 2019
Journal name Information, Communication and Society
Volume number 22
Issue number 2
Start page 213
End page 231
Total pages 19
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Social media technologies like Twitter are credited with enabling a new form of connective action, in which political movements coalesce and mobilise around hashtags, memes and personalised action frames. After the UK riots in 2011, citizen 'broom armies' took to the streets to clear up and repair damage. Different hashtags, including #RiotCleanUp and #OperationCupOfTea, were implicated in these movements. This paper questions connective action theory in this context. It seeks to respond to two criticisms of the connective approach, namely that connective action underplays differences between technologies and does not account sufficiently for cultural and ideological drivers of action. The paper combines an analysis of software systems, issue publics and discourse to giver a fuller account of connective politics during the riot clean-up movements. In doing so, it develops several metrics to advance understanding of digital communication systems, drawing attention to the roles that time and account status play in assembling meaning on Twitter. This analysis suggests that the clean-up movements were complex, discursive political acts, in which celebrity accounts played an influential role in framing discourse. Furthermore, the #RiotCleanUp hashtag credited with mobilising these groups is found to provide a less compelling explanation of action when compared against the more emotive but less noted #OperationCupOfTea.
Subject Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Keyword(s) Social media
connective action
Twitter
ICTs
media studies
social movements
DOI - identifier 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1366539
Copyright notice © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN 1369-118X
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