Moral Rhetoric in Twitter: A Case Study of the U.S. Federal Shutdown of 2013

  • Posted on: 27 July 2014
  • By: Eyal Sagi
TitleMoral Rhetoric in Twitter: A Case Study of the U.S. Federal Shutdown of 2013
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSagi, E, Dehghani, M
EditorBello, P, Guarini, M, McShane, M, Scassellati, B
Conference NameProceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Pagination1347-1352
Abstract

In this paper we apply a computational text analysis technique used for measuring moral rhetoric in text to analyze the moral loadings of tweets. We focus our analysis on tweets regarding the 2013 federal government shutdown; a topic that was at the forefront of U.S. politics in late 2013.
Our results demonstrate that the positions of the members of the two major political parties are mirrored by the positions taken by the Twitter communities that are aligned with them. We also analyze retweeting behavior by examining the differences in the moral loadings of intra-community and inter-community retweets. We find that retweets in our corpus favor rhetoric that enhances the cohesion of the community, and emphasize content over moral rhetoric.
We argue that the method proposed in this paper contributes to the general study of moral cognition and social behavior.

Refereed DesignationRefereed