Tweeting for a Cause: Micro-Blogging and Environmental Advocacy

38 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2012 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014

Date Written: 2012


This study examines how environmental organizations utilized the micro-blogging website Twitter to engage in political advocacy during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Using a content analysis of tweets, blogs, email, and press releases, I demonstrate that groups responded more quickly to the disaster and offered more sustained attention to the spill on Twitter compared to the other media. While Twitter adds a new element to interest groups’ efforts to shape the policy process, I also show that groups used it to support their other online communications, suggesting that the medium should not be studied in isolation.

Keywords: Twitter, Internet, interest groups, environment, public policy, Gulf oil spill

Suggested Citation

Merry, Melissa K., Tweeting for a Cause: Micro-Blogging and Environmental Advocacy (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Melissa K. Merry (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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