Online Public Opinion and Refugee Allocation. Assessment of the Impact of Refugee Facilities on Individual Expression of Political Views on Twitter

45 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2018

See all articles by Fridolin Linder

Fridolin Linder

New York University (NYU) - Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) Lab

Date Written: September 17, 2018

Abstract

How does the allocation of refugees in geographic proximity affect natives' engagement with the refugee topic? In this study I investigate this question, leveraging the recent increase in refugee numbers in Germany and the subsequent opening of large refugee facilities. Relying on a large random sample of German Twitter users and using their Twitter posts to measure engagement with the refugee topic, I investigate how individual users react to the opening of facilities in their geographic proximity. I find that users are more likely to talk about the topic shortly before the facility opens. I additionally present evidence that subjects speak more negatively about the topic before the opening as compared to after the opening of the facility. Besides these substantive contributions, this study offers a template on how to use social media data to study public attention and public opinion on localized events.

Keywords: refugees, twitter, immigration, social media

Suggested Citation

Linder, Fridolin, Online Public Opinion and Refugee Allocation. Assessment of the Impact of Refugee Facilities on Individual Expression of Political Views on Twitter (September 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3250818 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3250818

Fridolin Linder (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Social Media and Political Participation (SMaPP) Lab ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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