“Power to the People!”: Social Media Discourse on Regional Energy Issues in Australia

Kerri Morgan, Marc Cheong, Susan Bedingfield


Social media provides people from all socio-economic sectors with the opportunity to voice their opinions. Platforms such as Twitter provide the means to share one’s opinion with little effort and cost. But do these media empower everyday people to make their voice heard? In this research, we introduce a novel approach for investigating the voice of different Twitter groups on social media platforms, by combining text clustering and an analysis of cliques in the resulting network. We focus on a case study using Twitter interactions with respect to energy issues, in particular the closure of coal-fired power stations such as Hazelwood. Implications from this study will benefit stakeholders from governments to industry to the ‘common man’, in understanding how discourse on social media reflects public consumer sentiment.


social media; Twitter; graph theory; data mining; pattern recognition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v22i0.1678

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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