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What are we missing? An empirical exploration in the structural biases of hashtag-based sampling on Twitter

(2017) FIRST MONDAY. 22(2).
Author
Organization
Abstract
The hashtag is a recognized and often used method to collect Twitter messages. However, it has its limits with respect to the inclusion of follow-messages, or @replies, that do not contain a hashtag. This paper explored to what extent the inclusion of non-hashtagged responses affected the study of interactions between Twitter users. We drew from the Twitter debate on the 2014 Belgian elections, collected under the #vk2014 hashtag. Our dataset included non-hashtagged responses to assess (1) how they differ from hashtagged responses; and, (2) how this affects the conversation network. The findings showed that (1) hashtagged responses were more likely to include other interactive elements (e.g., hyperlinks); and, (2) the inclusion of non-hashtagged responses generated larger and more reciprocal networks. However, central users further strengthened their position in the network.

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Chicago
D’heer, Evelien, Baptist Vandersmissen, Wesley De Neve, Pieter Verdegem, and Rik Van de Walle. 2017. “What Are We Missing? An Empirical Exploration in the Structural Biases of Hashtag-based Sampling on Twitter.” First Monday 22 (2).
APA
D’heer, E., Vandersmissen, B., De Neve, W., Verdegem, P., & Van de Walle, R. (2017). What are we missing? An empirical exploration in the structural biases of hashtag-based sampling on Twitter. FIRST MONDAY, 22(2).
Vancouver
1.
D’heer E, Vandersmissen B, De Neve W, Verdegem P, Van de Walle R. What are we missing? An empirical exploration in the structural biases of hashtag-based sampling on Twitter. FIRST MONDAY. 2017;22(2).
MLA
D’heer, Evelien, Baptist Vandersmissen, Wesley De Neve, et al. “What Are We Missing? An Empirical Exploration in the Structural Biases of Hashtag-based Sampling on Twitter.” FIRST MONDAY 22.2 (2017): n. pag. Print.
@article{8555672,
  abstract     = {The hashtag is a recognized and often used method to collect Twitter messages. However, it has its limits with respect to the inclusion of follow-messages, or @replies, that do not contain a hashtag. This paper explored to what extent the inclusion of non-hashtagged responses affected the study of interactions between Twitter users. We drew from the Twitter debate on the 2014 Belgian elections, collected under the \#vk2014 hashtag. Our dataset included non-hashtagged responses to assess (1) how they differ from hashtagged responses; and, (2) how this affects the conversation network. The findings showed that (1) hashtagged responses were more likely to include other interactive elements (e.g., hyperlinks); and, (2) the inclusion of non-hashtagged responses generated larger and more reciprocal networks. However, central users further strengthened their position in the network.},
  articleno    = {6353},
  author       = {D'heer, Evelien and Vandersmissen, Baptist and De Neve, Wesley and Verdegem, Pieter and Van de Walle, Rik},
  issn         = {1396-0466},
  journal      = {FIRST MONDAY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  title        = {What are we missing? An empirical exploration in the structural biases of hashtag-based sampling on Twitter},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i2.6353},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2017},
}

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