Title

Connecting Mayors: The Content and Formation of Twitter Information Networks

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-10-2020

Publication Title

Urban Affairs Review

Abstract

Politicians interact with each other in polarized and partisan ways when they correspond on social media. Meanwhile, local governments share more substantive information about their service delivery efforts. Mayors operate in both spaces simultaneously (i.e., politics and administration), yet little has been reported about how they balance these positions online. This article examines (1) the extent to which mayors who govern the 100 largest U.S. cities form ties with each other, (2) the messages they create, and (3) the factors that influence their associations. Content analysis identifies common message types, including favorable presentation, symbolic acts, and political positioning statements. Results from quadratic assignment procedure indicate mayors form ties with high-profile counterparts from the same political party who represent larger cities and possess more followers (i.e., more popular accounts). The findings suggest tie formation has less to do with the exchange of best practices—as in policy networks—and more to do with self-promotion and political marketing to constituents at home.

Original Citation

Wukich C. Connecting Mayors: The Content and Formation of Twitter Information Networks. Urban Affairs Review. 2022;58(1):33-67. doi:10.1177/1078087420947182

DOI

10.1177/1078087420947182

Volume

58

Issue

1

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