In the latest blog from our Legislatures in Uncertain Times conference, Anikka Weerasinghe and Graeme Ramshaw discuss the work of communications professionals within the UK Parliament.
By Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Viktoria Spaiser
Hashtag conversations over Twitter are common place. They are used to comment on TV programmes, conferences, general themes and now petitions. The new Petitions Committee of the House of Commons has been using hashtags to support the development of discussions associated with the themes of the petitions being debated in parliament. Are these discussions on Twitter just a lot of hot air, come and gone, or can they help us understand the different purposes of petitioning? In this blog piece, we find that, instead of just noise, these Twitter discussions help to identify themes linked to petitions, different levels of sentiment associated to petitions, varying levels of polarisation, but also those petitions that despite achieving very high numbers of signatures, actually have little traction.
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